12 Years A Slave Summary

Good Essays
I. Introduction “12 Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup is an in-depth, fresh, personal perspective on slavery. The narrative, as told by Northup, examines the tale of how a free man became enslaved and the monstrosity that is slavery. The popular novel draws upon personal experience to illustrate the daily life of a slave.
II. Author’s Purpose, Documentation and Research, Bias The purpose of writing “12 Years a Slave” was to educate the public on the realities of slavery and remind readers that no black person was free during that time period. This memoir is both the study of a narrow subject and of a large time period. While most of the book is the telling of the grim life of a slave, the institution of slavery itself is touched upon. By
…show more content…
There are no major gaps in the timeline and is remarkably detailed. While no visuals are used to help the reader visualize the scene, Northup’s words alone describe the area as well as any graphic. While detailed, the work is not incomprehensible to the average reader. The language is typical, yet sophisticated. While information about slavery is common knowledge, it is not required to understand this text This book can easily be understood by anyone with a middle school reading level. The logical organization coupled with it being easy to understand, clearly shows the text’s main point. Northup’s point is that anyone can be taken into slavery. Freedom, for black people in those times, meant nothing. Free or not, it only took one person for someone to become a slave. This is a point, society most often forgets. It is deemed that once a slave earned their freedom, they could not be touched. It is forgotten that at any time, a white person could claim someone is a slave. As it was a white person’s opinion against someone deemed subhuman, the accuser was always believed. This too often forgotten point is what Northup drives into the…show more content…
Solomon Northup did not write any other books before his death. Despite the book being a best seller and award winning movie, Solomon Northup did not personally receive any awards for his work. Overall, the book was a success and it is evident as to why. The captivating, riveting tale of kidnapping, the life of a slave, and escape keeps the reader on their toes. The sophisticated, yet easy to understand language made the book stimulating. Everyone needs to read this book. Too often, slavery is seen as a blimp in American history. It is summed up to “that was horrible” and subsequently forgotten by students. “12 Years a Slave” takes an often forgotten narrative and makes it unforgettable. My view on slave’s loyalty to each other was completely changed. Previously, I believed that slaves ratting each other out was an uncommon experience. There seemed to be no need to eat one another out because it would not change their situation. Northup reveals that many slaves are so brainwashed, they believe they can help their situation by ratting out other slaves. This is a book filled with information that can help everyone become more educated on one of the most treacherous times in American
Get Access