12 years of slave Essay

Submitted By alexla129
Words: 1157
Pages: 5

During this past year we have been studying about slavery. We studied about how they were treated, the way they lived, the limited resources they had and the difficulties they overcame. I find that watching Steve Mcqueen’s movie, “Twelve years a slave” was the best option to show in summary what slaves really went through. The movie is based on Solomon Northup’s memoir and slave narrative.Mcqueen portrayed this man’s fight, survival and freedom through the whole movie perfectly. This action led him to win the golden globe award for best movie. Therefor I found it worthy to watch, not just because it won a golden globe but because the way Mcqueen directed it, the way the movie was created. I believe he did such a good job, because it was a personal topic to him as well, it was a matter that touched him profoundly.

The movie was quite disturbing at times, but I believe Mcqueen wanted it to be that way, so it would enlighten the viewers more about the topic. The slaves difficulties were portrayed rather well. Seeing how their health was, seeing how the family was separated, at times even sold separately and seeing how they would get treated, especially the women and the way they were sexually assaulted, was quite horrifying. The movie made me realise that they really did have a hard time, and being an outsider just made me feel bad and at times ashamed that white people would do such degrading acts towards these slaves that in the end they were people just like us. These slaves had bones, flesh, blood and hearts like us, so why treat them differently? Why treat them in an inhuman way?

In the beginning on the movie we have Solomon as a free man, but that soon changes when he goes to the South and these guys “drug” him and chain him up. Solomon would soon face many years (twelve to be exact) as a slave, who would endure tremendous pain not only physical but emotional as well, from being far away from his family. When Solomon was already mixed with the slaves , we see him board a ship where he would be faced with many diseases and illnesses. He is faced with this sicknesses because slaves back then had poor health they weren't taken care of and being in a closed place with many people leads to these issues. These slaves were all skinny due to malnutrition many even died. When Solomon and the others docked, they soon had their names changed. This demonstrated how slaves had their names changed. After that , they were taken to a slave auction, where they would be sold. In these auctions many families would be parted from the families, children separated from mothers and husbands from wives, each sold to different plantations. See, family is a big deal, so being separated caused much pain to many. In the movie we would could see this lady who tried to fight to keep her family together, although trying tremendously it was unsuccessful. This mother weeped through the whole movie because of her loss, this would sadly leave to her deaf.

Plantation life was cruel, they had to work tremendously and if they didn’t they would have consequences( whipped ,beat or even having privileges taken away such as food). Solomon was smart because he did his best not to get in trouble, always working as much as he could, picking the most cotton, he was an exploratory slave. This would lead to certain privileges. Women from plantations were treated horribly, men would see them as objects. Objects that could be toyed with and then thrown out like trash. These women were rapped, they were scared for life, beaten repeatedly. In the movie Patsey was the victim, her master would do this to her constantly. To make matters worse, the masters wife would punish her for it as if it was her fault. There was a moment in the movie where the wife threw something heavy at Patsey’s head that I felt the pain she was going through. In the end she would even get wipped, she would get punished for the husbands actions.

Being from…