Themes In 12 Years A Slave

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“12 Years a Slave: The Story of Society’s Failure to Protect the Innocent” Although novels and film adaptations are different mediums, both bring into existence a new world which piques the audience’s interests. Often compared, both mediums present completely different techniques of conveying the theme and message. The film’s unique attributes may lead to a change in the perception of the theme when compared to the novel. In Solomon Northup’s novel Twelve Years a Slave, the readers follow Solomon, a man forced to spend twelve years of his life as a slave after his liberty had been taken away from him. The novel reveals the horrors of slavery and portrays the world’s inhumane society. Steve McQueen’s adaptation of Twelve Years …show more content…
In the novel, Burch is man who deceived Solomon and led him to the path of slavery. When he first captured Solomon he told him, “If I ever hear you say a word about New York, or about your freedom, I will be the death of you” (Northup 43). This quote reveals Burch’s powerful yet tyrannical nature, which was established by his country because of his white skin. His sense of superiority desensitizes his morality, creating an inhumane monster. In the same manner, during the scene where Burch was whipping Solomon (Twelve Years a Slave), the director uses a low angle shot to establish Burch’s superiority as well as using the sounds of the whips to recreate his savage nature presented in the novel. The low angle shot manifested Burch’s condescending character while the sounds of the whip revealed his brutality. Both the film and novel portrayed Burch in similar ways which helps portray the novel’s theme in the film, and reveals how segregation can lead to savagery in …show more content…
Taking a closer look at Twelve Years a Slaves main theme of man’s inhumanity against man and comparing the novels elements of fictions to the films techniques, the reader and audience is able to better understand the negative impacts of racial discrimination. Reviewing how the film techniques are able to accurately depict the novels characterization, symbol, and imagery, the film adaptation is successful in recreating the book while retaining its main message. Twelve Years a Slave, both novel and film give arise to questions on whether society in the future will be able to demolish the racist hierarchical system and pave way to a new world full of justice and

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