Cycling Greed In Solomon Northup's 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 musical performances, had also been taken (20). Brown and Hamilton took opportunity to sell a man they had not purchased. This, according to Smith, was of great appeal amidst many at the time. Smith recounts various stories of free black families being “harassed by bounty hunters and kidnappers for years” (129). Black women and children, kidnapped and sold, could fetch a price as high as “$3,000 at the auction block” (“Bounty Hunters” 129). These men destroyed the lives of free men and woman for the sake of money. Northup brings this to further light in his account of Eliza and her daughter, Emily. Northup shared that toward Eliza’s pleas and Ford’s “humane proposal” to purchase the young girl, Freeman “was entirely deaf” (Northup 51).

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