Twelve Years A Slave Book Essay

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“Were all men such as he, Slavery would be deprived of more than half its bitterness.”Unfortunately, the other half of the bitterness emanates from morally baleful men like John Tibeats (he is spelled that way in the book, but the name is in fact Tibaut in real life).

A “small, crabbed, quick-tempered, spiteful” fellow who was at first employed by Ford as a carpenter, he is introduced in the film (where he is played by Paul Dano) as a sadistic coward who delights in tormenting slaves with his rendition of a “run, n***r, run” tune sung like a cursed nursery rhyme—surreal trepidation again highlights the absurdity of real life.

That collective gasp you hear is the audience jolted by intolerable cruelty in 12 Years a Slave.

Yet if you think the movie offers a terrible-enough portrait of slavery, please, do read the book.

Northup is taken to Louisiana, and even the low thrumming of the riverboat’s paddle wheel acts as an omen to a dark destiny.

Termination Of Employment Papers - Twelve Years A Slave Book Essay

A slave broker by the name of Theophilus Freeman (Paul Giamatti) sets the men, women, and children up inside a showroom as if they were mannequins.

He bids goodbye to Anne, and there’s no mention of their idea to procure free papers.

There are a number of these minor differences, but they have only to do with the inability to fit an entire book into a movie—omitting details, folding one character into another to create a composite—and never alter the significance of the events.

(Northup never saw the alleged “circus.”) Hoping to make a few days’ good wage, and without even saying goodbye to Anne, “thinking my absence would be brief,” Northup consented.

It would be 12 years before he saw his family again.


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