English lesson 120

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

To understand the situation you need to know that Northup’s was a free man at birth, and that his children were born free.  Northups children were free and in the north with his wife.  Eliza’s children were taken from her and sold to different masters, and Northup said that she might not see her again.

Eliza’s children were born in slavery and same with Eliza.  So that is also a difference.  Eliza and her children were promised to be free when their master died, and they were just sold, and stayed in slavery.  Once a slave, almost always a slave.  Slavery was a corrupt thing in the north.

She was even so depressed that it seemed logical to talk to her children, even though they weren’t there. Eliza was clearly more emotional about it than Northup was.

“Well, Northup didn’t really think about his children much the first couple of days, because he just thought that he would be gone a few days then return to his family with some extra pocket money. But apparently that wan’t the case. I don’t recall exactly what the book says about it, but I’m sure he was devastated. Comparing that to Eliza’s reaction to her own separation, it sounds like she clearly wasn’t expecting it, because it was just all of a sudden, Emily (Eliza’s daughter) was there one moment and gone the next. She was upset, and she showed it”

I am not the only one who agrees.

“Eliza, being a mother, had a much harder time when separated from her children than Northup. She practically gave up on life, without her children she had nothing to protect or nothing to live for. Northup’s response had less emotion, while Eliza had to stand back and watch men take her children, Northup didn’t fully process the fact that his old life and family were gone until several days after they left. Northup also harbored the fact that he was born a free man and therefore had a much better chance of seeing his children again. Eliza was born a slave and knew the chances of her reuniting with her children are close to none.”

It is three of us who agree.

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