12 Years A Slave Perseverance

Words: 971
Pages: 4

People are not born with the ability to give up; rather the disillusion of hope and a multitude of bitter life experiences cause humans to renounce their happiness. For this reason helplessness is a learned trait. In Solomon Northup’s narrative Twelve Years a Slave, the antithetical ideas of perseverance and learned helplessness are illustrated by the long struggle of the main protagonist, Northup himself. These beliefs are exemplified in the story throughout the various struggles of slaves trapped in the horrible system of slavery and without these the reader would most likely not be as invested with the tale because these ideals are what connect the readers to the tale. The audience would be unable to relate to Solomon’s struggle because …show more content…
He is finally able to confide into someone trustworthy (Bass) and his message is finally sent to his relatives in the North leading to his freedom. His determination held him together long enough to finally be able to once again experience the sense of freedom that he longed for so long. So while many slaves suffered from what could only be described as a lesson that was engrained too thoroughly and unjustly into the minds of those weaker than the white men, slaves like Northup were able to shed the feeling of hopelessness and look forward to the greater life that they once had. This is shown at the end of the novel how Solomon is freed and “ the slaves, utterly confounded, stood gazing upon the scene, their open mouths and rolling eyes indicating the utmost wonder and astonishment. For ten years I had dwelt among them, in the field and in the cabin, borne the same hardships, partaken the same fare, mingled my griefs with theirs, participated in the same scanty joys; nevertheless, not until this hour, the last I was to remain among them, had the remotest suspicion of my true name, or the slightest knowledge of my real history, been entertained by any one of them.” (Northup,