Essays on 12 years a slave

Essays on 12 years a slave

12 Years a Slave tells a story about Solomon Northup was born a free African American man in the city of New York because of his parents who were previously free before they died. He was a landowner, a musician, a farmer, and a father. Northrup had a family that consisted of a wife and three children. The wife's name was Anne, a free woman, and the three children whose names were Alonzo, Margaret, and Elizabeth Northrop. He was offered a part-time job as a musician but this was not the case. He tricked and kidnapped was now soon to be sold into slavery.

The freedom that he did have was taken away which made him accept the fact that he was no longer a free man to others and become an abolitionist or support anti-slavery. Unlike most of the other slave stories that you have heard from other African Americans, Northup was different. He was not considered a criminal that ran away or broke a rule. He was a victim that was taken by criminals. He also had a different perspective on how he viewed slavery. He tends to shed light on his experience of his journey instead of speaking on everything horrific thing that has ever crossed his path during these dreadful twelve years. He believed in good and bad in this event in his life, which was not common for the average African American slave.

Northrup was very strong in faith and he knew what he wanted to happen. Determination is a big part of his journey, so he had to learn how to keep his head on straight. Northup was a victim of kidnap so this means that he didn’t have to explain why he ran away from slavery nor did he have to explain how he broke a law. Even though he knew indeed that he was a free man of New York, he accepted the fact that he was now a sold slave but throughout the book, he keeps the same mild-mannered tone. And within these twelve years, he spoke on the good and bad. Even though he was up for anti-slavery but barely spoke about it, he showed how he benefitted from slavery. Northrup gave himself more knowledge because he not only focused on tasks that were given to him every day, he kept a close eye on everything around him also. His curiosity and observations guided him to a better version of himself because he knew he needed to keep his identity for his own sake.

Northrup showed in 12 Years a Slave as a social gap and a free market by telling the audience about inhumane treatments that were received by slave owners. This gave a push for political improvements because he decided to give accurate details on how he was being treated through his bad and better days. He did not just focus on how badly he was being treated by his multiple owners but also how there were also some owners who were not as bad. Northrup emphasizes to his audience how feelings can turn into changes.

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12 Years a Slave story analysis

The plot of the book Twelve Years A Slave is the reflection of the author’s own life experience. The uniqueness of Northup’s book lies in the fact that unlike other slave narrated books; a man who was born free wrote this novel. All other slave …

12 years a slave
Words 78
Pages 1
A Comparison of the Similarities and Differences Between the African American Literature Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and 12 Years a Slave

What is African American literature? According to Wikipedia, African American literature is the body of literature that was produced in the United States by writers of African descent. In my own aspects, African American literature was a way for African Americans writers to freely express …

12 years a slaveAfrican American
Words 1570
Pages 6
A Visual Analysis of “12 Years a Slave”

12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, revolves around the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was deceived, captured, and sold into slavery. He works under several slave masters before finally being freed after 12 years of slavery. This movie’s imagery …

12 years a slave
Words 641
Pages 3
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An Analysis of the Move 12 Years a Slave Based on a True Story by Solomon Northup

The movie, “12 Years a Slave” is based on a true story. The original was written in novel form by the man who actually went through the terrors depicted in the film. The book, as well, was titled “12 Years a Slave”, written by Solomon …

12 years a slaveSlavery
Words 1551
Pages 6
12 Years a Slave, a Movie I Never Want to See Again

12 Years a Slave was one of those Movies that I wouldn’t ever want to see again. Maybe because it was the Truth. What I learned about Solomon Northup was that he was a Free Man in New York. He was married To Anne Hampton. …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 840
Pages 4
A Review of the Film 12 Years a Slave

In the Antebellum era, slavery and plantations forced slaves into a state of opposing communities against the whites, and the film 12 Years a Slave showed this accurately. The film solely focused on Solomon’s journey as a slave, and presented the harsh suffering he had …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 579
Pages 3
The Portrayal of Slavery in the American South in the Film, 12 Years a Slave

Summary As the film begins, Solomon Northup who is the author of the narrative, is a freeman at the north with his family but is later kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south. Although he was born of a slave, he was free, lived, …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 580
Pages 3
A Short Analysis of 12 Years a Slave, a Film by Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen’s 2013 Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, based off the narrative by Samuel Northrup, is a glimpse into the American past. Through the eyes of Samuel Northrup himself, the audience is taken through a dramatic tour of pre-Civil War society and the horrors …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 1050
Pages 4
The Films 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen and The Birth of a Nation by Nate Parker Teach Us History

From the Big Books to The Big Screen, What Is Slavery? Looking back hundreds of years way before my time and trying to understand slavery during that period can be perceived as difficult without having something to look back and reference too. In my case, …

12 years a slaveSlavery
Words 3525
Pages 13
The Exposure of Slave-Based Businesses in America and a Call for Social Justice in the Movie, 12 Years a Slave

The rot in society besides other issues of delinquency still abounds not because people are not aware of the ills of the conduct, but because of the endurance of the habit for ages to an extent that it seems ordinary and acceptable. Such is the …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 836
Pages 4
The Portrayal of Slavery in The Help, Django Unchained, and 12 Years a Slave

Hollywood has used history itself for its own benefit. We all know how Hollywood exaggerates certain moments to make a big impact on the viewers and gain popularity. It’s because Hollywood typically changes things that today, I will be using as a thesis argument based …

12 years a slaveSlavery
Words 2090
Pages 8
The Powerful and Sad Story of the Movie 12 Years a Slave

Powerful. Very powerful and very sad. That is how I would describe the movie “12 Years a Slave”. I could not imagine having my freedom taken from me in one day. Solomon Northup was walking through the park and enjoying the day and then he …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySlavery In America
Words 697
Pages 3
An Analysis of Image, Text, and Story in 12 Years a Slave

One of the powerful things about literature is that it allows the reader to create. An image through words, and the power of film similarly derives from the image the audience is given. A brutal example of this difference is in 12 Years as a …

12 years a slaveARTMoviesSlavery
Words 903
Pages 4
The Abolishment of Slavery in Solomon Northup’s Memoir 12 Years a Slave

Greetings fellow abolitionist! I have the most exciting news! I have just finished reading a copy of Solomon Northup’s memoir entitled 12 Years a Slave. Although it was difficult to read, this book helps our cause to abolish slavery immensely. Northup describes in detail the …

12 years a slaveMoviesSlaverySociety
Words 1096
Pages 4
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Find extra essay topics on Essays on 12 years a slave by our writers.

In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Michael Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon's life forever.… MORE
Release date

October 18, 2013 (USA)


Steve McQueen


Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Rol

Box office

$187.7 million

Production companies

Regency Enterprises; River Road Entertainment ; Plan B Entertainment ; New Regency Productions; Film4 Productions


Screenplay by: John Ridley

Frequently asked questions

What is the message of 12 Years a Slave?
The message of 12 Years a Slave is that slavery is an evil institution that robs people of their freedom and dignity. The film tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1840s. Northup's story is a powerful testimony to the cruelty and inhumanity of slavery. The film shows how slavery dehumanizes both slaves and slaveholders, and how it destroys families and communities. Ultimately, the film argues that slavery is a moral evil that must be abolished.
What is the most important scene in 12 Years a Slave?
The most important scene in 12 Years a Slave is when Solomon Northup is finally reunited with his family. This scene is important because it shows the strength and resilience of Solomon Northup, who was able to survive his ordeal and be reunited with the people he loved. This scene also highlights the importance of family and how they can provide support and love during difficult times.

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