An Analysis Of 12 Years A Slave

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In the book, 12 Years A Slave, the heart wrenching testimony of Solomon “Platt” Northup is told. Northup tells of his time as a free man, his capturing from his family, and the years spent shackled in the slave trade. His personal stories consist of detailed explanations of the violence he and other enslaved African Americans endured during their captivity. Slavery consisted of violent ownership, vicious mistreatment, and outrageous labor demands. Northup’s descriptions of subjection, abuse, and injustice supply necessary support for the advancement of the abolitionist movement by revealing the ugly and inhumane aspects of slavery. Northup is stripped of his freedom and identity, and is beginning his life of subjecting to his master. His …show more content…
The worst violence came from the cruel cotton planter, Edwin Epps; his land is where Northup spent 10 out of the 12 years of his captivity. Northup describes Epps as “a large, portly, heavy-bodied man,” he goes on to talk about his drinking problem, “Edwin Epps was fond of the bottle,” and expands on his sick love for whippings, “lashing them about the yard with his long whip, just for the pleasure of hearing them screech and scream, as the great welts were planted on their backs.” Epps was a savage man that viewed the black slaves as “livestock”, even though his livestock was fed and cared for way better than a slave could dream of being cared for, and found it a game to terrorize the slaves using mental games, sexual assault, and the favorited whip. At times it seemed that a twisted Epps cared more about haunting and abusing the slaves than he did about the prolificacy of his cotton farm. One of Northup’s slave mates, Patsey, faced the brunt of most of the violence. Northup described her as the best cotton picker, saying “She picked with both hands and with such surprising rapidity, that five hundred pounds a day was not unusual for her.” Considering that the average slave picked two hundred pounds a day, Patsey was valuable, yet Epps utilized her in other ways. Patsey wasn 't just Queen of the Field, …show more content…
Bass—who gave Northup a reason to look for the light during his dark times. Mr. Bass was a Canadian carpenter that embodied abolitionist ideals, and spoke for the right, the true, and the good. He called Epps out on his inhumane actions, and expressed his distaste for the arrangement, “And what difference is there in the color of the soul? Pshaw! the whole system is as absurd as it is cruel.” Mr. Bass’s outspoken thoughts on the evils of slavery give Northup the courage to take a risk and ask him for assistance in his odyssey of regaining freedom. Northup had his rights violated when his free papers from the custom house in New York were purloined, and he was sold into the slave trade. Mr. Bass, seeing a power in Northup, “overwhelmed me (Northup) with assurances of friendship and faithfulness, saying he has never before taken so deep an interest in the fate of anyone,” and that he would “restore me (Northup) to my kindred and to liberty.” The transgressions of slave owners have become out of control, and completely violates the Declaration of Independence. The efforts of Mr. Bass are generated by the mistreatment of slaves and the need for a change. The conversations between Northup and Mr. Bass are only the start to a development in the abolitionist

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