“12 Years A Slave” Extra Credit
Solomon Northup was a free African-American who lives in New York with his two children and wife. He made his living as a fiddler and a skilled carpenter, and one day he was invited by two men to tour in a circus with them, but this was a trap to kidnap Solomon and sell him to slavery in the south.
He was shipped to New Orleans where he was given the identity of a runaway slave from Georgia named Platt and forced to hide his identity as a freeman after beatings. Platt was then sold to plantation owner William Ford, who was a kind master to his slaves and was in really good terms with Platt, which became a problem for Platt since a racist white overseer in Ford’s plantation, John Tibeats, harassed him for this and for his intelligence. Tibeats then tried to kill Platt by hanging him, forcing Ford to sell Platt to protect him from Tibeats.
He was sold to a cruel plantation owner, Edwin Epps, who believed that the Bible had granted him the right to be cruel to his slaves, and his first task was to pick cotton, but he didn’t do well in this aspect, unlike another slave, Patsey, who was Epps’s favorite slave which put her into trouble with Mrs. Epps. In his time in Epps plantation, an old man dies in the cotton field who was buried in the slave cemetery. When Epps’s cotton withered, he leased many of slaves to a neighboring plantation, where Platt was able to gain money by fiddling in a wedding, which his temporary master let him keep. With this money, he asked a white field hand to mail a letter to his friends in New York, but instead of keeping his word the white man betrayed Platt but Platt was still able to get away with it by denying that he could write since he was a slave.
As the story progresses, Patsey becomes even more abused, and one day when she went out to get a bar of soap, she came back and was lashed by both Platt and Epps. Platt begins working in a construction where he worked with Bas, a Canadian laborer who...