Letter-styled Analytical Paper
Assignment Summary: Write a 4-5 page analytical paper based on the book Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup. Use specific examples from the book to support your argument, and cite the quotes and information you use either with footnotes or with parenthetical notes (Author, p.#) to indicate where you found your evidence.
Imagine that you are an abolitionist living in Lorain, Ohio in 1853. You just bought and read a copy of Solomon Northups Twelve Years A Slave. Write a letter to a fellow abolitionist, Dr. Hendricks of Cooperstown, New York, to explain to him why you are excited about the book and how Northups experiences as a slave validate the abolitionist critique of slavery.
In order to do this, you will need to use the book and must use examples from The Primary Documents from “Digital History” (which I will link below) to establish exactly why abolitionists are against slavery, and then use specific examples from Northups book that demonstrate how his experiences support the abolitionists arguments against slavery. To do so, you will have to clearly define why abolitionists believe slavery to be an evil institution that needs to be eradicated. Remember that their perspective is connected to the logic that underpinned other moral reform efforts.
In formulating your critique, be sure to look beyond the issue of cruelty and explore Northups broader critique of how slavery corrupted southern society. In what ways does he play to the cultural and political beliefs of the northern middle class? In what ways does southern society violate the values of the northern middle class?
Though this assignment is in the form of a letter, you will be expected to address the topic analytically and provide a clear thesis that you support clearly and consistently throughout your paper.
Links for “Digital History” documents:
Specific Documents that might help.
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