“How could I adopt Northup’s technique of using contrasts?”

Solomon Northup, a free-born black man who had been kidnapped and forced into slavery for twelve years, used amazing contrasts in his autobiography (Twelve Years a Slave). This made for a very entertaining read. In my autobiography I want to use contrasts, mainly because it helps to give more insights into a person’s life.

How could I adopt Northup’s technique? I would probably re-read several times Northup’s book, especially those passages that contained the contrasts. This would lead to an analysis of how Northup used his contrasts. Also, I would have to know the lives and situations of people that lived in my time so that I could see the differences between our lives.

Northup’s Separation

“Describe the difference between Northup’s response to separation from his children and Eliza’s response to separation from her children.”

Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup was born a free black. He grew up, married and was a successful entrepreneur. In his autobiography, Twelve Years a Slave, he describes how he was kidnapped by illegal slave traders and sold into slavery. He ends the book by telling how he was finally able to return to freedom after twelve years.

I think that the main difference between Eliza’s, a slave with two children, and Northup’s sorrow at being separated from their respective children is that Northup, being a free black sold illegally, had hope and perhaps a means (eventually) to see his children.

However, Eliza, having been a slave her entire life, and her children having been sold into slavery separately, had no hope or way to see her children again, and therefore she slowly gave way to the overwhelming grief and died. Northup survived and lived to see his children again.