In the history of the United States of America questions about freedom, liberty and dignity remained unanswered and unsolved for a long time. People, due to the color of their skin, existed in limited frames, suffering from different forms of abuse and endless cruel treatment. The society dictated its own stable laws, including very strict, at times, dreadful rules to subject people to the local orders of the established dictatorship as one might see in the movie 12 Years a Slave.
The movie 12 Years a Slave clearly represents the problem of racism and human rights. The plot of the movie is based on the real facts and reflects the total absence of moral and spiritual values among slave owners since slaves work on their plantations the whole day earning miserable money or nothing at all. Owners do not care what slaves eat, how they feel and what they are able to do and bear in order to find a small piece of soap. The only thing rich people know is how to get as much money as it is possible, not taking into account that their slaves are living God’s creatures. The most important goal is to receive much cotton having a huge income.
Explicitly, there is no justice in slavery at all. Watching this movie, the audience worries about the main character Solomon Northup and feels much sympathy to his misfortune and sufferings. It is impossible to be indifferent to such injustice, and a great desire appears to advocate the main hero and all other people who are possessed as slaves. It is merely unfair that a free, respectable, well-mannered, married gentleman from New York, who really loves his wife and adores small children, bears all these miseries. It is incomprehensible how it is possible to blame people because of black skin. Moreover, the situation connected with the betrayal impresses the spctator, and in such a way, it attracts their attention more and more. The reason is that it is difficult to imagine that people who pretended to be sincere friends can betray for the sake of nothing more than a pitiful amount of money.
It is possible to change laws, but universe is still eternal and invariable. Comparing the aspects of slavery as seen in the movie with the Slave Narratives that were in the Interactive Lecture, there are too many similarities as for owner’s treatment of their slaves and animosity. However, according to a story said by a woman named Charity Anderson during her interview, “her master treated all his slaves well, but she also remembered seeing slaves torn up by dogs and whipped unmercifully” (Prine, 1937). Such fact certainly proves that in the movie slaves suffered from cruel attitude and behavior of their owner, and this narrative expresses unspoken feelings of those who bore all that horror. Undoubtedly, according to the movie, there was one man who respected Solomon and his talent to play the violin. In fact, slaves were the same people with the same right to live, and the difference was just poverty. They were not guilty that destiny decided to order their lives. In Walter Calloway’s interview, his life story impresses the listener’s mind and thoughts because it creates and develops further image of how people suffered due to injustice. As he recalls, “the white overseer used a black hand to administrator the whippings” and “one thirteen-year-old girl whipped almost to death” (Jordan, n.d.). Moreover, in the movie, one owner made Solomon beat a slave-girl who was too young and too beautiful but innocent. The main difference between these narratives is that in the movie, the spectator observes every scene and feels part of the plot because the vision reflects all whhat is seen somehow deep in people’s mind. As for the narratives, the listeners understand mentally the way those people went through as well as how many horrible things and how much sorrow their shoulders bore overcoming the common problems.
“To survive means not to find death” (McQueen et al., 2013). In fact, this thought belongs to Solomon, but it expresses the common opinion of all slaves. Apparently, slaves did not want to survive because they wanted to live. Undoubtedly, every person deserves respect and understanding whether their color of skin is black or white. The movie can definitely be an eternal example of how one person can go against the whole society to withstand the stable laws and rules, and it adds to the scholarship of the slave period in the United States. 12 Years a Slave emphasizes that people must know their rights and obligatory assert them. Every person has their moral and spiritual values, and nobody has any right to depress their will restricting the freedom and liberty. On the other hand, the plot of this movie is a disgrace to the US history because it contains the question of racism, and people according to their skin color faced depression and even death. African Americans were the same people who totally resembled their owners, and they deserved to be free and have appropriate treatment.
How Can We Help?
In summary, all people must understand that they possess equal rights and are born to live but not to exist bearing endless abuse and mockery. The movie 12 Years a Slave and mentioned narratives show that every person is a real personality with own rights, independent opinions and thoughts. The movie can be a great example showing that there is no need to surrender even in the worst conditions because it is possible to follow the intentions as Solomon Northup did.