Themes In The Film '12 Years A Slave'

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‘12 Years a Slave’ is an eye-opening film that displays incredible themes and ideas throughout it. As the movie follows a man named Solomon, who is captured as a slave, the director, Steve Mcqueen uses an array of camera techniques, dialogue and fascinating characters to make these themes come to life. In two particular scenes, the idea that males feel they have the right to use women however they desire, attracts the attention of the audience. This is because the female slaves must not only endure difficult labour tasks for their masters, but they are also used as sexual objects frequently.

One of the techniques the director uses in the scene, in which Master Epps is counting up how much cotton each slave has picked, is dialogue. The audience views as subtle pieces of dialogue are used to highlight Epps’ idea that men are superior and have the right to treat women as they please. After it is confirmed that Patsey, a female slave, has gathered more cotton than the rest of the slaves, Master Epps insists on luxuriating on her work. The audience watches as Epps continues on to say, “You menfolk got no shame letting Patsey out pick you.” Here, Epps insinuates that the men should be remorseful about letting a female out-pick them. Epps is bewildered by the fact that a woman
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Consequently, the viewer is able to infer that he sees males as the superior gender and envisions the female slaves as nothing more than a body on the second-place podium. This remark enhances the message being portrayed for the audience as when hearing of that era, it was not
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