Free «Slavery» Essay Sample


Slavery, in the way it was in the U.S. until 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted, was one of the rudest violations of human rights in the world. Unfortunately, there are many slaves today, and despite the prohibition of human traffic, people are kidnapped and used as a working force quite often.

According to the International Labor Organization, there were around 21 million slaves in 2012 (Gould). However, the difference is obvious: in the first half of 19th century, slavery was legal but today, it is prohibited everywhere in the world. The movie Twelve Years a Slave shows all the horrors and injustice of slavery in the U.S. at the beginning of the 19th century. It is hard to imagine that the country which proclaims human rights as the most important issue today could legally authorize human traffic 150 years ago. It is painful to see the suffering and tortures of Afro-Americans, who were kept in inhuman conditions and forced to work all the time. However, the movie shows different characters, some of which sympathize with the slaves and do not approve cruel treatment. Moreover, the North part of the modern U.S. was slave free, where people such as Solomon could live normal life. Unfortunately, the desire of easy money often prevails over conscience and mind, and some people such as Solomon’s kidnapers used contradictions between North and South to make a fortune. The movie makes the viewer experience the part of life of a slave, who, among the few, managed to become free again. It emphasizes the importance of human life and shows that all people in the world are equal, and nobody has a moral right to own a man, even if the law allows it.

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The perception of the aspects of slavery is different from the Interactive Lecture and the movie. A person gets a fuller picture of hard times for slaves from the movie rather than from the short stories of different people who felt the terror of being a slave. From the Narratives, it is clear that the slaves could master various crafts like painting, blacksmithing or playing music. To the contrary, in the movie a spectator watches that slaves worked only using their physical strengths. However, both in the narratives and the movie, slaves could not learn how to read and write. Even though that some narrators say that they were treated well, in most cases the attitude to the slaves was brutal. They were whipped, tortured, and mistreated without having basic things for living.

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The movie adds to the scholarship of the slave period in the United States because it makes the importance of the problem easy to understand for everybody. Of course, there are various works, which deeply describe the slavery, however, only few people would spend their time to read complex scientific articles and therefore, the majority may skip the issue. Twelve Years a Slave is a historical drama, which gives the viewer an understanding of the severity and injustice of slave life in the past. Moreover, it was recognized as the movie of 2013 by the majority of film critics. The success of the movie became widespread, and many people all over the world got a chance to discover the slavery issue and gain a deep understanding of the problem.

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The movie and the narratives are “must see” for every person to comprehend the issue of slavery. Nowadays, it is difficult to realize that the slave who became free could not fully understand what it was meant to be free. However, those days it was a reality. People should understand that all people are equal and the attitude for every person should be equal. The laws may change, and nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Violators may turn into people whose rights will be violated. That is why, people should think about their behavior and actions every day.

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