Solomon Northup: Similarities Between The Slaves And Solomon Northup

Better Essays
Similarities Between the Slaves Frederick Douglass and Solomon Northup Slavery undoubtedly had a major role in the history of the United States of America. The slaves in the U.S were innocent people that were kidnapped and taken away from their families and homes in Africa. African people were forced to come in an unknown land and were required to do labor against their wills. They were beaten, sold, looked down upon as if they were not human, just because of the complexion of their skins. There were numerous people of African descent that were actually considered free in the U.S. They were still kidnapped and put to slavery. One of those people was Solomon Northup. However, even with slavery many African people accomplished great things …show more content…
They would beat them mercilessly for the smallest things. Slaves had to take the punishment and were punished even more if they resisted so many slaves rarely attempted to do so. However, Solomon Northup and Frederick Douglass had enough courage to retaliate against their masters. Solomon Northup was going to be beaten for something that was not his fault. However, instead of getting beaten by his master, Northup beat his master. “He was completely in my power. My blood was up. It seemed to course through my veins like fire” (Northup 71). Northup knew that fighting against his master was dangerous even though he did it. After that event, he no longer feared his master and felt proud of himself. Frederick Douglass also fought back against his master and after that Douglass felt a sense of freedom.“This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning- point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within a sense of my own manhood” (Douglass 71) After beating his master he lost his fear towards his master and felt that standing up for himself gave him a feeling of freedom. Overall, Northup and Douglass fought back against their masters while being aware of what the consequences may be which is a great example of resistance to …show more content…
Being a literate slave is one of the greatest things a slave can be, but the ones who supported slavery were against slaves being literate. Slaves were not allowed to have the opportunity to read and write and were punished if they were caught doing so because slave masters did not want their slaves to be educated. If slaves were educated they would question the master 's orders and eventually disobey. Solomon Northup already literate since he was a free man before, but he needed to write letters to his friends secretly because he knew if anyone found out that he could write then he would be punished severely. With the help from a kind white man, Northup received the materials and opportunity required to write the letters. “He was nodding over a table, half asleep, on which sickly light was flickering, and on which also was a pen and sheet of paper. As I entered he aroused, beckoned me to a seat beside him, and pointed to the paper.” (Northup 43). Northup met a man who took sympathy on him and bought him supplies and gave him a room in order for Northup to write letters. On the other hand, Frederick Douglass was not literate and he had to learn while he was a slave, which was risky. He learned how to write by copying his master 's copy-books when he was alone. “I continued to do this until I could write a hand very similar to that of Master Thomas. Thus, after a

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Before he learned to read, Douglass was blind to the dehumanizing effects of slavery and how a slave’s ignorance was necessary for the institution to work. However, his transformation into a self-aware man is foreshadowed through his first thoughts when learning how to read. He voices these brewing thoughts by saying, “The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers,” (Douglass 40). Learning to read was his escape and every new thing he learned was a step towards the freedom that had always eluded him. However, after he began to be educated and could understand the things going on around him, Douglass couldn’t rid himself of the notion that his life should hold something more.…

    • 1622 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Powerful white men did not hire them, because they had slaves working for free (Ryan. P 7-17-17). Working class whites were forced to patrol, meaning they had to watch out for any slave that was wandering around. It was the law for them to carry a weapon to church, and be ready to fight a slave if necessary. Slavery made them think they were better than the colored people.…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    During that time, if someone owned slaves and their slaves ran away, it would make them angry because they lost a free worker, and it makes them look weak to other slaves. The masters were scared that one slave escaping would cause a domino effect with the other slaves. When Glovers master found out he ran away they put a bounty on him. Glover was eventually caught. He knew that he had to tell his master something so that he would not be beaten to death.…

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Southern “young masters are often tempted and seduced from the path of virtue, from the associations in which they were place” (Cartwright 139). African-American slaves were taught that all they will ever feel is pain and suffering (Jones 91). This dehumanization of African-American slaves made it easier for slave owners to control them. The emotional abuse slave owners instilled on their slaves was used to reinforce and emphasize the fact that African-American slaves were not human beings but property that their masters could use in any…

    • 1506 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This is due to the fact that male slaves saw themselves being beaten as them being stripped of their integrity. Douglass goes through this exact experience and at one point defends himself against his master which culminates in a fight. After his fight with his master, he is never to be whipped again. This is another vital difference in the…

    • 963 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Another point could be that slave owners did not beat their slaves to instill fear but just to punish one slave. However, I still stand by the initial point that slave masters beat their slaves to instill fear in other slaves. Machiavelli said in The Prince “It is better to be feared than loved,” and the slave masters treated their slaves as such. Once the slaves learned to fear the master and the whip the slave driver would have complete control over them. Douglass reiterates this point in chapter ten with his description of Mr. Covey’s effect on his slaves “His work went on in his absence almost as well as in his presence; and he had the faculty of making us feel that he was ever present with us.” This quote shows again that slave masters developed a way to…

    • 920 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This rebellion also goes to show the secretive manners of the slaves to acquire certain skills they desired without receiving punishment from their masters. Turner used his secret readings skills to obtain higher knowledge and act out against the slave owners. Nat Turner may have been one of many slaves who used their secretly acquired skills to expand the knowledge of the other slaves that they interacted with in their lives. Taken away from their home land in Africa, separated from their families, and treated in a cruel manner by white slave owners, the black race had enough. Some stayed quiet because they feared for their life, but others went out and broke the law by doing things that was prohibited for the blacks to do.…

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They were both treated in the same settings when transported to the New World. Their so called masters beat them over small reasons, and they were also not paid to work. However, indentured servants worked on a given contract and after a given term they would be allowed freedom with land, money, or return passage. Unlike willingly becoming an indentured servant, slavery was obligatorily and permanent. Color often aided to distinguish the two groups, for the servants were white and could intermingle in to the crowd; if say, they sought after an escape, but the slaves were black, making it very challenging for them to run away, and in many circumstances they were caught.…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Colonies Economic System

    • 1013 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Black workers were obliged to work permanently for their masters, unlike the white servants who were freed after a fixed amount of time. Also, slave codes had further limited the rights of blacks and ensured absolute power to their masters. The brutal and inhumane treatment that Africans have experienced from both their travels and work shows how the Southern economic system has caused for many lives to be destroyed. Although it is uncertain of the real motivations behind slavery, some argue that it was the idea that whites are above all other races while others say that slavery had been formed strictly for economic…

    • 1013 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Fredrick Douglass’s Narrative written by himself is one of the best books of the 19th century to shine light on the cruelty and injustice of slavery. Not only does he use his experience to portray the unfortunate life of a slave but also other slaves that he encountered and even later tried to escape with. He also expresses how slaves were looked down upon and why the slave owners thought the way they did about slaves. His experience growing up on a plantation is what exposed him to the extreme racism that occurred in the life of every slave. This treatment later resulted in his escape and freedom.…

    • 947 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays