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Olaudah Equiano Analysis

Decent Essays
From an 11 year old boy to a plantation slave to a sailor to an author, Olaudah Equiano’s life was defined by moments that are exclusive to travel. His many travels exposed him to a wide range of human conditions, of which freedom and enslavement were most immediate to him; his experiences grew and supported his abolitionist ideas and drew him closer to his spiritual faith. His travels made such a tremendous impact on him that at some parts, his autobiography seems more like a travel journal rather than a narrative with anti-slavery sentiments. He saw the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in Italy, the impossibility of navigating to India from the North Pole, and the horrors of the slave ship and institutional slavery. All of which he used to create a connection to his readers while also maintaining an almost ethnographic process of thinking about the world. Perhaps his travels, as much as having been on opposite sides of the freedom and slave spectrum, created this. Equiano’s initial experience in travelling takes him as unwilling participant into the slave trade. Having grown to the age of 11 in one culture in a singular space, he was very secure in his identity; this first thrust into a new space, one that is purposely hostile, creates anxiety that is only soften because he is sold closer to home. The gradual progression to the coast and ultimately onto a slave ship gives him time to face harsher truths in the West Indies. His Transatlantic journey takes him to Barbados, which he
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