Twelve Years a Slave

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The narrator who expresses his thoughts in the 17th chapter of Twelve Years a Slave is a man by the name of Solomon Northup. As it is told from his point of view, the typical conditions that slaves faced in 1850 were harsh punishments. He goes into great detail of how he had seen and heard of many slaves who would do whatever was necessary to escape from the torture of working on plantations under their master’s orders. He as well as one of his companions, Wiley, were under their master, Epps, rule. The plantation in which they had to work was located in Bayou Boeuf. Northup discussed how one day Wiley left the plantation without telling any of the other slaves including his wife. It was weeks before Wiley was discovered by a white man as Wiley was trying to figure out a way to cross the Red River. He was put in jail and soon recognized by Mistress Epps uncle. Wiley was taken out of jail by this man where he would soon be turned over to Epps once again. Wiley was sent back to the plantation with a note for Epps saying not to beat the runaway slave. Epps simply ignored the note, and Wiley faced brutal beatings. Later in the chapter, Northup goes on to say how another slave, Augustus, was found by the master’s dogs, and unfortunately suffered a brutal death. Solomon Northup was one who wanted to live a free and normal life just as every other slave. When a slave who had escaped from her master’s plantation, Celeste, went to the cabin in which Northup stayed, he helped her by supplying her with a little food. He was indeed one generous slave and even though he knew the hardships were unfair, he still followed the rules of his master. Although loyal to his master, he longed for the day to come where all masters would have to suffer the hardships just as he and his fellow slaves once did.
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