12 Years a Slave

by

Solomon Northrup

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Patsey is a twenty-three-year-old, beautiful slave girl belonging to Edwin Epps. She is raped by Epps regularly, making her the object of Mistress Epps’ jealousy and hatred and thus the recipient of even more brutal treatment. Stuck between Edwin Epps and Mistress Epps, Patsey is constantly beaten and punished for one thing or another. She is known among the other slaves for her bright spirit and extraordinary talent picking cotton. She is eventually beaten nearly to death by Epps, after which she is never the same.

Patsey Quotes in 12 Years a Slave

The 12 Years a Slave quotes below are all either spoken by Patsey or refer to Patsey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Graymalkin Media edition of 12 Years a Slave published in 2014.
Chapter 13 Quotes

[…] it had fallen to her lot to be the slave of a licentious master and a jealous mistress. She shrank before the lustful eye of one, and was in danger even of her life at the hands of the other, and in between the two, she was indeed accursed.

Related Characters: Solomon Northup (speaker), Edwin Epps, Patsey, Mistress Epps
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

It was the Sabbath of the Lord. The fields smiled in the warm sunlight—the birds chirped merrily amidst the foliage of the trees—peace and happiness seemed to reign everywhere, save in the bosoms of Epps and his panting victim and the silent witnesses around him. The tempestuous emotions that were raging there were little in harmony with the calm and quiet beauty of the day. I could look on Epps only with unutterable loathing and abhorrence, and thought within myself—“Thou devil, sooner or later, somewhere in the course of eternal justice, thou shalt answer for this sin!”

Related Characters: Solomon Northup (speaker), Edwin Epps, Patsey
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire 12 Years a Slave LitChart as a printable PDF.
12 Years a Slave PDF

Patsey Character Timeline in 12 Years a Slave

The timeline below shows where the character Patsey appears in 12 Years a Slave. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
...each day, and they are punished if they don’t meet their quota. Epps’ best cotton-picker, Patsey, picks five hundred pounds of cotton per day. (full context)
Chapter 13
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
...marriage, Bob and Henry; Wiley and Phebe’s thirteen-year-old son, Edward; and a twenty-three-year-old girl named Patsey. Patsey is incredibly gifted at many things, “and were it not that bondage had enshrouded... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Although Patsey has a joyful, lighthearted personality, she frequently weeps, suffering the constant punishment of a “licentious... (full context)
Chapter 14
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
When Solomon returns to Epps’ plantation, he hears that Patsey has been subjected to crueler-than-usual punishment. Phebe tells Solomon that now, when Epps comes home... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
...the reader that Mistress Epps is “possessed of the devil, jealousy,” when it comes to Patsey, but that she has several good qualities. She is kind to all of the other... (full context)
Chapter 16
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
One day, Epps arrives at the fields clearly intoxicated and motions for Patsey to follow him. Patsey begins to cry, “aware of his lewd intentions,” and Solomon whispers... (full context)
Chapter 18
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Solomon recounts the cruelest whipping that he ever saw, which was given to Patsey. Epps partakes in “an infernal jubilee over the girl’s miseries,” just like his jealous wife.... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
Epps orders Solomon to secure four stakes into the ground. He forces Patsey to strip and secures her face down by tying her wrists and feet to each... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
Solomon writes that the day Patsey was brutally beaten “was the Sabbath of the Lord. The fields smiled in the warm... (full context)