12 years a slave

             Twelve Years A Slave, Solomon Northup, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1996
             Chained and fettered; constantly thrashed; fed twice daily a mere serving of bacon and corn meal; laboring countless hours; forced to sleep on the ground. When you hear these conditions you instinctively think of an animal being held captive and you are partly correct. Slaves were not considered humans worthy of proper clothing, food, or shelter, but rather thought of as property or uncivilized animals. Chattel slavery was a malicious establishment, inevitably causing pure misery for all involved. The accounts of Solomon Northup in Twelve Years a Slave depict the horrid injustices that slaves routinely experienced; his narrative straightforwardly illustrates that the institution of chattel slavery caused despair for both male and female slaves, and the slave owners themselves.
             Men and women slaves were regarded in basically the same respect, although they shared different grievances. Being a male slave meant toiling extended hours, receiving severe, unjust floggings, and being shipped from plantation to plantation aiding in different tasks. Solomon experienced all of these misfortunes first-hand and knows the depth of sorrow that slavery triggers. He labored in corn fields, cotton fields, and sugar fields; he chopped wood, built houses, and constructed miscellaneous objects upon his master’s request; he was even given a whip and instructed to lash his fellow slaves if they made a mistake. All of these tasks were performed under the watchful eye of a spiteful white man who acquired immense pleasure out of whipping a slave and hearing his cries of agony. The physical exhaustion inflicted upon slaves caused many male slaves to attempt to flee willing to face the harsh consequences for a few days of rest away from the plantation. Slavery weakened strong men, broke exuberant men, and caused a widespread suffering amongst them ...

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12 years a slave. (1969, December 31). In MegaEssays.com. Retrieved 12:22, January 21, 2017, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/9886.html