Theme Of Greed In 12 Years A Slave

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Cycling Greed For centuries, humankind has suffered under the hand of greed. Disguised as merely providing or fulfilling one’s needs, greed slyly plagues and manipulates humankind with its narcissistic ways. In his book 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup shares his experience in humankind’s cycle of greed, despairing dependence, and slave owner’s justification of their wickedness. Tricked, kidnapped, and sold into slavery, Solomon Northup witnesses humankind’s greed. Although Northup himself has no validation for the involvement of Brown and Hamilton, it may be assumed that the men, yearning financial profit, traded Solomon Northup for their personal gain. Furthermore, not only had Northup been kidnapped and sold, but his earnings, from his…show more content…
According to Hudson “[S]outherners were convinced that slavery was a positive good and should be defended at all costs” and that “Slave labor was the lifeblood of farms and plantations across the South” (50). This meant that southerners needed to justify their treatment of and right to own slaves. Mr. Epps did so when he likened black men and women to no more than “baboons” (164). A similar mindset is seen all throughout Northup’s 12 Years a Slave. If black men and women are no more than animals a slave owner might find justification in their treating their “property” (46) as desired (164). Therefore, slaves were forced to endure inhumane living conditions, public beatings, and lack of essentials such as food. (103). Slave owners further instilled this by depriving slaves of education (140). Doing so guaranteed more control over their slaves. This, unfortunately, was the fate many slaves endured as their masters were consumed with selfishness. Many manipulated scriptures to support their wickedness (Northup 77). It is widely known that throughout time biblical scriptures have been manipulated to justify evil deeds. Typically slave owners would read to their slaves, scriptures taken out of context. They falsely justified and deemed that to halt their use of slaves was unnecessary. If black men and women were given a sense of humanity it not only deprived slave owners the right to treat their slaves as they pleased but also revoked the right to own slaves
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