Analysis Of 12 Years A Slave By Solomon Northup

Great Essays
In the novel 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, Northup recounts the story of his life through being kidnapped into slavery. It depicts a scene of happiness turned into hell, and all starts when Solomon is tricked into “playing music” with two white con men by the names of Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. They take him to the city, where they drug him and sell him off to a slave keeper and thus starts his 12 year excursion through the real life hell of slavery. The story shows all of the terrible things that the slave owners would do, even to a man who was free and stolen into slavery. Just like in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin it showed just how quickly life could change for a free black or a slave living with a nice owner …show more content…
12 Years a Slave was a direct telling of Solomon’s life and how it changed in an instant from a mistake that he could not have known not to make. It explained the problems free black men and women had at this time in America. Just from a small mistake, your life could be over and you could end up a slave who was kidnapped and sold off. It shows the atrocities and what happened in the South, and covered it more thoroughly than any history textbook could. The novel shows that Slaves could be treated well, even though they were being owned and worked by the masters. In the textbooks, at least in the north, the slave owners are always portrayed as nasty vile humans who beat and kill their slaves. In this novel we see three different kinds of owners. We see Ford, who is a normal, rather nice master who keeps Solomon and treats him well. After Ford there is Tibeats, who is often found trying to kill Solomon and beating him and even selling him off in frustration. Finally we meet Edwin Epps, who is not necessarily trying to kill his slaves, but he is beating them relentlessly and could be considered the worst of the three owners Solomon dealt with. Solomon provides the idea that all of his masters never told him he was very important to how much they could make, but by the end we find this out through a conversation between Epps and Bass. Epps takes …show more content…
This novel was a great novel, with a great commentary from the main character, as he is the author. He writes of his experiences of how his life changed drastically in a matter of minutes, and how he worked diligently to get back to his old life, through hardship and awful things such as bad masters and hard work. This novel took the rather unknown life of a slave and told the world about it, and even still is a great read to learn what you cannot get from a textbook about American

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