12 Years a Slave Essay examples

1699 Words Nov 11th, 2014 7 Pages
The Gruesome Truth
“My name is Solomon Northop, I am a free man residing in Saratoga, New York” CITATION McQueen \l 1033 (McQueen). Unfortunately at this point for Mr. Northop it would do no good for him to speak up, in fact, it did more harm than good. In the film 12 Years A Slave, the audience encounters the horrible kidnapping, based on a true story, of a free black man named Solomon Northop. This film is by no means easy to watch but it accurately portrays the life of slaves, and free blacks, who were caught up in the gruesome world of slavery. The history of Slavery in the American South is not a secret. African American people were treated like rag dolls; they were locked up in cages, sold off continuously for money, separated
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This was the total opposite of another Master and plantation Northup experienced. Master Epps was a brutal disgusting man. He constantly abused his slaves, physically and verbally, and had sexual relations with the young women such as Patsy. Master Ford says, “He [Epps] prides himself on being a nigger-breaker” CITATION McQueen \l 1033 (McQueen). It is here that the audience is introduced to the severe beatings and mistreatment of the slaves. Edwin Epps welcomes his new slaves to his plantation, “And that servant who knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes…40, 100, 150 lashes” CITATION McQueen \l 1033 (McQueen).
A slaves’ experience on a real life American south plantation was similar to the scenes in the movie. Living conditions were minimal, slaves were fed and clothed and sheltered only enough to keep them alive and well enough for work in the fields. As stated by abolitionist Frederick Douglas, “A city slave is almost a freeman compared with a slave on the plantation. He is much better clothed and enjoys privileges altogether unknown to the slave on the plantation” CITATION Boston \l 1033 (PBS). Plantation slaves, if they didn’t behave properly or do their work, they were most likely beaten with whips and lashes. For example in the

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