12 Years a Slave

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Movies ・MLA

12 Years a Slave Themes in the Identity of the Film A person's or a thing's identity is a set of characteristics that enable you to identify them. It depicts the individuality or distinctness of whatever is being discussed. Northup is considered a free man, a wealthy and well-connected violinist at the start of the film 12 Years a Slave. The man's personality disappears after he is enslaved, and he is no longer Solomon Northup but Patt. His life is transformed into a slave, and when he insists on being free, he is beaten. He works hard in the fields, drawing inspiration from his previous life thus able to cope and change completely to survive the hard slave life.


In the story, religion plays the major role as both good and bad deeds are emphasized. Tibeats and Epps are bad characters as long as they swear and take God’s name in vain while Ford was portrayed as a good character following the doctrines of God and being a committed worshiper. He even does sermons and invites the slaves to attend and share God’s word. Northup also depicts the religious role by crediting God for his survival after fleeing through a snake-infested forest.


Misogyny is the dislike or prejudice against women mostly by men. In the story, Northup describes Patsey as an enslaved victim of lust and hate having no comfort in her life. Being a female slave, she was forced to cope with Epp’s sexual and physical violence. She belonged to him both as the best cotton picker and for sexual fulfillment. Northup tells us in his narrative that Patsey had a grasp of suffering and misfortune.

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