Twelve Years a Slave Extra Credit Assignment #2
The plot of the book Twelve Years A Slave is the reflection of the author's own life experience. The uniqueness of Northup’s book lies in the fact that unlike other slave narrated books; a man who was born free wrote this novel. All other slave narrators had been born into slavery. Dedicated to Harriet Beecher Stowe and introduced as “Another Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," Northup's book was published in 1853, less than a year after his liberation. The significance of Northup’s experiences of being a slave described in the book is hard to deny. People who read this book can virtually see the world through the eyes of a person that got locked away into a cage of slavery, a person that was cut off from society and normal life of a free man. Can we possibly imagine how this person must have felt like? We should not doubt what Solomon Northup went through when he found himself in a situation when he was not free anymore. It is obvious that the whole story and the portrayal of slavery acquires an entirely different perspective than if it had been written by a narrator who was born into slavery and passed through stages of his childhood and adolescence wearing a stamp of being someone's property.
The most harrowing moment from Northup’s brilliant and painful Twelve Years A Slave is when slave master, Edwin Epps, is questioning his slave girl and mistress, Patsy, about her whereabouts the previous afternoon. When Patsy returns, she reveals that she was at a neighbor’s plantation, trying to get a bar of soap, but he refuses to listen. Epps does not believe her and orders her undressed, tied to a tree and beaten. Epps forces Platt to whip her repeatedly, but becomes frustrated, snatches the whip and whales on her himself. In my opinion, this was the most touching; yet disturbing section of the book. I cannot imagine how devastated Platt felt having to whip his best friend and then watch...
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