Solomon Northup 's Account On Slavery Essay examples

Solomon Northup 's Account On Slavery Essay examples

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Solomon Northup’s account on slavery gives reader insight into the treatment of the slaves and how religion justified the masters’ acts of violence. “Twelve Years a Slaves”, illustrate Northup’s experiences with his three owners. Each owner treated their slaves differently and without exception they were all religious and use a sort of violence to keep their slave in order, whether it was by their own hands or their workers. The novel reveals how religion contributes to the treatment Northup and other slaves and how violence played a role of dehumanization.
Before becoming a slave Solomon Northup was a well-respected freed man. He had a wife and two children and lived in a town where the community respected him and his talent playing the fiddle. After meeting two white men who work for a circus, he took them on their offer to travel and play and make some extra cash. Northup’s fall ill after a night of drinking and wakes up to find himself prisoner in the worst slave trader pen, James H. Burch. He is latter traded and renamed Platts and faces the cruelty of being a slave in the south.
In the late 18th century, the evangelical movement was a great influence in the south. Many southerners took part in the evangelical reform, in fact those who did not take part of the reform where considered rebellious or witches who were later killed or burn at the stake. Solomon Northup’s’ also experienced his years as a slave when the reform became the model behavior. Northup makes evident that the reform effected the treatment of slaves by comparing the slave masters he was once under. For instance in (Northup-39) it states, “He never doubted the moral right of one man holding another in subjection, he was a model master, walking uprightly, ac...


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I believe that religion was used to help protect the whites who knew what they were doing was. The twisted the words of the bible in order to dehumanize the slaves and gain authority. Slavery was based on violence because the whites could not see pass color. They did not want to believe that black and whites had the same red blood and transparent souls. “And what difference is there in the color of the soul” (Northup-99)? By using violence they were able to scare the slaves into doing what they need. With salves unarmed and at times out number they had no choice to abide t the rules of their slave master. A great example is spankings that children receive by their parent when they doing something wrong. Once they are spanked they obey the adult and they do not do it again. By using violence on their salves they are able to get the same result as a spanking.

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