Solomon Northup: Movie Analysis

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“Chained and imprisoned; constantly thrashed by a leather whip, fed barely twice a day, meals consisting of bacon and corn meal, laboring countless hours and forced to sleep on the ground”. When you hear those conditions you naturally think of an animal held captive and abused. Back in the 1800s slaves were never seen or considered humans who needed care or respect. They did not get proper clothing, food, or shelter in white American minds but simply known as property. Slavery was a brutal establishment set into the minds of Americans by the devil himself, punishing humans with no difference but the color of their skin. Solomon Northup was born a free African American from New York. He was the son of free African American parents.…show more content…
The powerful film unveiled the sights and sounds of enslavement, from slaves picking cotton in the fields to the torture and inhuman treatment they encountered. What the movie missed was very minor, but I felt that the film overemphasized Northup’s social standing in New York State before his enslavement. In the film, Northup appears as a wealthy and successful man, having a good life as a musician and carpentry. The clothing he wears makes him look very official while living in a tolerant, racially integrated community where skin color does not matter to the eye. Sadly, in reality blacks who lived in the North were everyday victims of white racism and discrimination. In his autobiography, Northup describes the everyday “obstacles of color”, in his life prior to his kidnapping. I can understand why the filmmakers wanted to include a strong opposition between Northup’s life as a free man in the North and the physical and mental trauma he endured while enslaved in the South. Twelve Years A Slave remains one of the most important American slave narratives. It is a valuable source of information regarding the daily lives of slaves in Central
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