An Analysis Of Solomon Northup 's 12 Years A Slave Essay

1370 WordsNov 3, 20166 Pages
Solomon Northup, in his autobiography 12 Years A Slave, uses religious language to depict the horrendous nature of institutional slavery and slaveholders. In specific, the primary use of religious language in Northup’s autobiography is to express his and many other slaves’ sufferings and subjugation, to present the biblical justification adopted by slaveholders to mistreat their slaves, and to convey the significance of religion to him and the African American slaves; therefore, religious language is not a tool utilised to dramatise or supplement substance in his story. It is the true voice of Northup that arises from his faith and belief in Christianity as well as other African American slaves. Northup entails his early sufferings as something that is utterly impossible to describe with words. For instance, when Northup was deceived and unjustly kidnapped by slave traders, he ‘prayed for mercy, but his prayer was only answered with imprecations and with stripes’. While he has adopted the biblical values in 19th century, his religious faith and hopes were subsequently obliterated by slaveholders. His biblical faiths were supposed to console him even when he is experiencing the ‘burning agonies of hell’, but ironically his sincerity towards Christianity was answered with further pain and misery. This conjures up a vivid image that regardless of his spoken or unspoken actions, he was put into the abject condition and inevitably faced wicked actions of slaveholders. In a
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