Twelve Years a Slave - Chapters 16-20 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Chapter 16

During cotton season, Epps hires more slaves in order to get more work done quickly and increase his profits. He also hires overseers who use whips and pistols. Solomon becomes a driver, whose duty is to revive passed-out slaves, and force them back to labor. Solomon is very lenient when Epps is not around, but when Epps is around he must make a show of driving. If Epps is at a distance, Solomon only pretends to whip others, allowing them to pretend they are being whipped. One day, while Epps is seeking to satisfy himself with Patsey, Solomon tells Patsey to pretend she is working. This enrages Epps, who chases Solomon around and around the fields until Epps gives up, scolded by his wife. Solomon, meanwhile, manages to steal a sheet of foolscap paper, and creates his own ink so that he...

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This section contains 1,270 words
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Buy the Twelve Years a Slave Study Guide
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