For the past few days, I have been reading through the autobiography of Solomon Nothup, and honestly, it has left me rather distraught. This book takes place at a time before the civil war, the 1800’s, where slavery was still abundant. The reason I’m not entirely enjoying my reading is that, first off, the man was kidnapped and sold into slavery, and second, the things he described in his book were very, very unpleasant and depressing. Just one example would be that some of the families he came across were separated when sold to separate people, which brings me to the topic for today. My assignment is: “Describe the differences between Northup’s response to separation from his children and Eliza’s response to separation from her children.”
First, let me tell you who Eliza is. Eliza was one of the slaves that Northup came in contact with. She had had two children with her, but they were both eventually separated from her, one sold, and the other was left when she was sold. Now, her response to her children being away from her was crying. Oh, did she weep. I remember reading that part and wanting to break something, possibly the slave trader, but, who can interact with him now?
Now, here’s the other side of the spectrum. Northrup was separated from his kids when he was kidnapped. He never got a chance to say goodbye or anything, to them, nor his Wife. But, here’s the difference. Northrup just missed them, it was of great magnitude, but he didn’t weep about it. Sometimes he even dreamt about them, but he was never fully devastated to the point of no return, like Eliza who actually was slightly crippled by her grief. I mean, she looked sick, that is, according to how he described it.
My reasoning as to why these same situations were handled differently is fairly basic. My main point, Eliza was a woman. A mother being deprived of here children? It’s only a natural response, isn it not? Women can tend to be a lot more emotional in general as well. Northrup, on the other hand, most likely reasoned that he must stay strong, and he knew, more like hoped, that he would some day see them again. And so, that’s my reasoning as to why these reactions differed. It’s fairly simple, but I believe it is sound as well.