Reflection on American Slavery

During my English class, we wrote a reflection on the novel 12 Years a Slave. I decided to compare and contrast an article about a lost slave girl from her mother and Solomon Northup’s story. Article web address: http://kuow.org/post/slave-mothers-love-56-carefully-stitched-words.
This particular story is similar to Solomon Northup’s tale in a few ways. Both are based on truth, both are about being sold into slavery, and both show an eventual reuniting of their families. With Ashley and Rose, they never physically meet again, but a dedicated historian was able to piece together where they came from and that their story was in fact true. Solomon and Ashley’s stories are also quite different. Ashley was born into slavery, and was simply sold to another plantation, whereas Solomon got to experience freedom before being sold into slavery. Ashley never knew a time outside of slavery until she was 20, the only change in the constant pain was when she was forced away from her mother. Solomon had the pain of every single day, knowing that every second he was gone, his children were growing up without the love and attention that Solomon was so ready to give. Both of their stories are incredibly painful, and I’m sure that no one would want to endure either, but even so Solomon’s story seems still worse than Ashley and Rose’s separation. Although I guess it depends on who you are. Which is better, never knowing of freedom in the first place, but gaining freedom later on in life? Or having the sweet taste of said freedom taken away in the blink of an eye only to be thrown back in more than a decade behind the rest of the world?

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3 thoughts on “Reflection on American Slavery

  1. If you put yourself in each person’s shoes, then I agree Solomon’s story was a lot worse. Being born free and then having that freedom ripped away from you is terrible. If you were born into slavery, then that’s all you know and when you become free, it is liberating (in all aspects). Very well written reflection; it makes you think.

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