Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa Essay

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Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa

It was in 1758 when Olaudah Equiano was kidnapped from his home in Southeastern Nigeria and sold into slavery. Equiano was just eleven years old at the time and was forced to leave his Ibo religion, his family, and all else familiar. His account of being introduced to the Europeans which forced him into slavery is especially powerful, for Equiano had never laid sight on a white man before.

...I was carried on board. I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I was sound, by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had got into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions too, differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke,
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Equiano merged into manhood gradually, yet there are certainly experiences which aided him along. His narrative revolves around his youthful self journeying through foreign lands and over strange waters. His story is unique, for although he suffered from the oppression of slavery, he traveled all over the world, thereby gaining knowledge and education. Due to the fact that he was thrust into an entirely new environment at such a young age, his juvenile ignorance and naivety is extremely apparent, yet it is these learning experiences that caused him to mature faster than he would have otherwise.

Certain events are elaborated upon which further developed Equiano's character. Among them are the encounters that the author had aboard Captain Pascal's ship. As mentioned before, Equiano's life differed greatly from the typical slaves. Due to the fact that he spent most of his time traveling across the Atlantic, he and every other man, regardless of race, was under direct and clear orders. All had a function to fulfill aboard ship, and if a free man or a slave failed in his assigned task, they would be penalized. Furthermore, due to the fact that ships usually consisted of all-male groups, the sailors all shared the rough life of having to prove their masculinity and deal with everyday competition of strength and courage. Equiano was quick to learn this and before long he was called upon deck and paired with
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