1. The characters?
3. Narrative technique?
4. Time aspect- What's the time span?
There are several themes that match the movie's agenda. I have narrowed it down to the two that I feel are most important : Identity and a his passion for music reminds him what he is fighting for throughout his twelve years as a slave.
freedom and are used as punishment, along with stocks. The whip is used on the slaves as essential part of his identity, It gives Platt hope and comfort despite his lack of freedom.
The chains resemble the loss of punishment, the whip symbolises power, pain and control. It is not only used during working hours to make them work harder but also as an amusement for the slave owners, they strip the slaves of their identity whenever they like.