The Gruesome Truth Essay

“My name is Solomon Northop. I am a free adult male shacking in Saratoga. New York” CITATION McQueen l 1033 ( McQueen ) . Unfortunately at this point for Mr. Northop it would make no good for him to talk up. in fact. it did more injury than good. In the movie 12 Years A Slave. the audience encounters the atrocious snatch. based on a true narrative. of a free black adult male named Solomon Northop. This movie is by no agencies easy to watch but it accurately portrays the life of slaves. and free inkinesss. who were caught up in the ghastly universe of bondage. The history of Slavery in the American South is non a secret. African American people were treated like shred dolls ; they were locked up in coops. sold off continuously for money. separated from households. horrifically beaten and worked to decease. The audience is taken on a drive. non merely through the life of Northop. but besides through slave history in America. foremost seeing where he is out now. being sold off into bondage for the first clip in his life. so we flashback to life as a free adult male in the province of New York. and eventually the narrative of his snatch and the barbarous world he was approximately to digest for 12 long old ages. In 1841. in Northern America. free inkinesss were non uncommon.

In fact. the figure of free inkinesss in the North began to outnumber the slaves. In 1830. 11 old ages before Northop’s narrative took topographic point. “there were over 122. 000 free inkinesss in these provinces and about 2700 slaves. about all of them in New Jersey. which was the last northern province to get down to stop slavery” CITATION Finkleman l 1033 ( Finkleman and Malone ) . Of class. there were still some boundaries set by many people. such as inkinesss shouldn’t store in white stores. This is made apparent in one of the first scenes of the movie where Solomon and his household walk into a store. owned by a white adult male. to purchase a new bag. The adult male evidently has no job with this but some people would. This intrigues a younger black adult male into desiring to step foot into the store but he is rapidly ushered out by his white maestro who repeatedly apologizes to the shop proprietor. Blacks still had person they answered to. non much of a maestro. but more of a patron. person to vouch for and allow them their freedoms. “If you want to last. make and state every bit small as possible. State no 1 who you truly are. state no 1 you can read and write” CITATION McQueen l 1033 ( McQueen ) .

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This was Clemens Ray’s advice to Northop while they were transported to Louisiana to be sold. After Solomon was tricked and kidnapped into bondage by two work forces presenting as circus leaders. Brown and Hamilton. he is forced onto a boat with other inkinesss. some already slaves born and bred. others free work forces kidnapped like he was. Ray was one of those free work forces. African Americans. particularly slaves were non supposed to be educated. If they could read or compose they were a menace to the white common people. particularly as a slave. White slave proprietors were afraid if their slaves learned to read and compose they could out ache them. believe for themselves and most of all start a slave rebellion against them. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 opened up a new door for white kidnapers. Harmonizing to an article from PBS. this jurisprudence made it that much easier for snatchs. similar to that of Solomon Northup. to happen because it allowed slave dealers to claim any African American as a slave CITATION PBS l 1033 ( PBS ) .

Blacks populating in northern provinces that bordered southern slave provinces were particularly vulnerable to nobbling. Northup found this out when he was taken south to Washington for the circus he thought he was going a portion of. The article besides says that most frequently. slave dealers picked their marks at random. non caring if they were free inkinesss or non and banked on the fact that they wouldn’t be able to bring forth their legal paper saying their free position CITATION PBS l 1033 ( PBS ) . Solomon. now known by his slave name Platt. continued to digest the life of bondage. holding been sold several different times to new plantation proprietors. Master Ford was a much more tolerable adult male. leting for Northup to talk his head on occasion. set his thoughts into drama for more efficient work around the plantation and even provided him with a fiddle to bask the music he had one time loved. This was the entire antonym of another Maestro and plantation Northup experienced.

Master Epps was a barbarous disgusting adult male. He invariably abused his slaves. physically and verbally. and had sexual dealingss with the immature adult females 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 terrible whippings and mistreatment of the slaves. Edwin Epps welcomes his new slaves to his plantation. “And that retainer who knew his lord’s will. and prepared non himself. neither did harmonizing to his will. shall be beaten with many stripes…40. 100. 150 lashes” CITATION McQueen l 1033 ( McQueen ) . A slaves’ experience on a existent life American south plantation was similar to the scenes in the film. Populating conditions were minimum. slaves were fed and clothed and sheltered merely plenty to maintain them alive and good plenty for work in the Fieldss. As stated by emancipationist Frederick Douglas. “A metropolis slave is about a freeman compared with a slave on the plantation. He is much better clothed and enjoys privileges wholly unknown to the slave on the plantation” CITATION Boston l 1033 ( PBS ) .

Plantation slaves. if they didn’t behave decently or make their work. they were most likely beaten with whips and ciliums. For illustration in the movie. Patsy in secret goes off to Master Shaw. a neighbour to the Epps abode. and asks for soap to rinse with. This gets her tied to the station and beaten with the whip until she has about now skin left on her dorsum. Mr. Bass to Master Epps: “What amused me merely so was your concern for my wellbeing in this heat. when rather honestly the status of your labourers. it is horrid” CITATION McQueen l 1033 ( McQueen ) . The narrative comes to an terminal when Mr. Bass. a carpenter hired by Master Epps who merely happens to be a Canadian emancipationist. learns of Northup’s position and gets his missive out to his friends and household in the North. Solomon’s original Master who had granted him his freedom. Mr. Parker eventually arrives to take him back place to Saratoga. The consequence that bondage. such as seen in 12 Old ages a Slave. has had a heavy impact on society still today. Peoples of colour still don’t feel like they have every right and freedom as the white adult male and think they have it so awfully today.

When in world. the inkinesss of today’s coevals don’t have a hint how lucky they are to be populating in the conditions they are now. My premier illustration of this still being an issue is the muss that late occurred in Ferguson. Missouri over the shot of immature African American adult male by a Caucasic constabulary officer. The African American civilization still holds a bit on their shoulders from all those old ages ago when their ascendants were viciously beaten and slaved. They believe the hiting merely happened because he was black in colour. Society as a whole needs to take a measure back and retrieve what our state was founded on ; we were founded on in-migration. Immigration from 100s and states. people flying their ain fatherlands for a better life. Slavery was what screwed up that foundation. Slavery was incorrect. disgusting and inhumane. Based on what those people. like Solomon Northup. went through we should non be comparing the issues today to their issues so.

Peoples of colour are so good off in today’s society every bit far as being treated reasonably and merely like every white individual and I feel their ancestor’s would be appalled to cognize they are comparing at that place issues of race to the whippings and agonies that they experienced. In an article I found reviewing and analysing the movie. the critic says this: To compare the troubles an African American faces today to the inhuman evils that afflicted Solomon Northup. as some do to hit a inexpensive political point while chucking themselves on the dorsum for their compassion. is to do a scandalous sketch of that man’s unbearable agony and of all those to whose misery he bore informant. CITATION Podhoretz l 1033 ( Podhoretz ) Before sing this movie I already had my positions and sentiments on bondage but this opened my eyes even more.

There were several scenes I couldn’t even stand to watch and the whole clip I was believing how did people believe it was okay to populate like this? It mortified me to watch the scenes of maltreatment and hear the manner these people were talked to. 12 Years a Slave is an oculus opening experience. The journey through the life of Solomon Northup allows the audience to experience like they are sing the physical and emotional facets of the history of bondage in our state. Innocent people were truly treated this manner. Peoples were truly viewed as belongings and forced to populate this ghastly life. It is an unfortunate truth we as Americans have to face. but society must travel frontward. These narratives. existent life events. assist us see what we do non what to return to in our society.


l 1033 12 Old ages A Slave. Dir. Steven McQueen. Perf. Chiwetel Emjiofor. 2013. DVD. Finkleman. Paul and Christopher Malone. “Free Blacks in the North. ” Encyclopedia of the New American Nation ( 2006 ) : 29-34. Web. PBS. n. d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

Podhoretz. John. “Man In Chains. Hard to Watch. Important to See. The World of Slavery. ” U. S. History in Context ( 2013 ) . Web.