Solomon Northup's 12 Years A Slave

Good Essays
One of the darkest times in American history is the years that slavery remained legal. The idea one person owning another, like they were property, seems hard to believe in the modern-day, but in the antebellum South it was just a fact of life. Solomon Northup, the main character of 12 Years a Slave, was a free, educated, black man who lived in New York, with his wife and young son and daughter. Mr. Northup was kidnapped, while in Washington D.C., and sold into slavery at a New Orléans ' slave market. Mr. Northup’s time as a slave was full of trials, testing his will to live and his faith in human kind. Throughout Mr. Northup’s time as a slave, he endured many mental, emotional, and psychological abuses from his masters. The most central …show more content…
Another way slave owners, in the South, justified the use slaves was to consider them property, not humans. There are many differences in the laws about the rights of property versus the rights of humans. The slave owners dehumanized their slaves, so they could circumnavigate many laws pertaining to the treatment of other humans. For example, Master Ford, Mr. Northup’s first master, did not care that Eliza, a slave being sold at the same market as Mr. Northup, has a son and daughter. To justify the separation of the family, Master Ford tries to dehumanize the slaves, so he does not feel as big of an emotional impact as he would if he considered Eliza as a human woman. By constantly placing the slaves beneath the white humans, the slaves’ mental state would, undoubtedly, deteriorate until the slaves no longer wanted to live. These feelings that the masters made their slaves feel were awful and no humans should have to ever endure them. The dehumanization of another race of people is an awful occurrence, and it was one of the worst psychological traumas the slaves …show more content…
Fancies were slaves that masters bought to have sexual relations with. The masters’ wives were supposed to ignore the purchasing of these slaves because the Southern culture of the time let the masters have affairs with the slaves in front of their wives. In the movie, Patsey, one of Master Ebbs’ slaves, was used, by Master Ebbs, for this purpose. There is one scene in the movie where Mr. Ebbs forces himself on to Patsey and she beings to cry. As a result of their relationship, Mrs. Ebbs, Mr. Ebbs’ legal wife, began to treat Patsey horribly. Two cases of this are when Mrs. Ebbs throws a glass bottle of scotch at Patsey’s head, and when Mrs. Ebbs withheld most necessities, like soap, from Patsey in an attempt to punish her for her actions. The sexual advances of the masters, onto their slaves, made the women slaves fearful for their lives. They were being taken advantage of, but if they attempted to speak out against their masters, they were beaten or even raped at an increasing rate. The emotional suffering that the slaves, who had been taken advantage of, succumbed to were awful. If they became pregnant and delivered the baby, the master would, usually, take the child from the mother and raise the child like one of his own. The slaves were not able to be a mother and that enraged many of the slaves who suffered so

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