Essay on Olaudah Equiano

1220 Words May 3rd, 2012 5 Pages
The Horrid Journey If it were not for the stories past down from generation to generation or the documentations in historical books, the history of the twelve million African slaves that traveled the “Middle Passage” in miserable conditions would not exist. Olaudah Equiano contributes to this horrid history with The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Through this narrative, the appalling personal experience of each slave is depicted. He accomplishes his rhetorical purpose of informing the world of the slave experience in this narrative. His use of unique style and rhetorical devices in this conveying narrative portray his imperative rhetorical purpose. Throughout Equiano’s works, a unique style is evident. This …show more content…
In this, however, it depicts the complex journey of the African slaves that struggled to become equal. In addition, Equiano’s use of imagery clearly depicts the journey of the Africans slaves, such as “The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us" (45). Through the portrayal of this vivid imagery, the reader can feel the distress of the slaves in which they encountered the journey of the “Middle Passage.” He emphasizes his emotions, ideals, and thoughts through the imagery. With the uses of this vivid imagery along with high diction and intricate sentences, Equiano successfully attempts to inform the reader of the horrid journey of slave transportation. However, it is not only his unique style alone that fulfils his rhetorical purpose of depicting the appalling slave experience; in addition, his several rhetorical devices aid to do so. Equiano’s rhetorical devices which include ethos, pathos, and logos abet to define and accomplish his rhetorical purpose. His ethos, or ethical assurance, is conveyed in his level of education portrayed by his sentence structure and high diction. Furthermore, as proven in historical documents, Equiano was a slave aboard one of the many slave ships. With this, the reader can accredit Equiano’s narrative to be a reliable and first-hand source to the journey of the “Middle Passage.”
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