Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, traveled much of the world encountering a variety of people from different cultures and backgrounds. In Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, the author witnesses how slavery was imbedded in the economic and social values of his day and age, through the experiences of others as well as himself. Having numerous relationships with people of differing religions, socioeconomic statuses, and principles, he developed a unique viewpoint of slavery. Although an abolitionist, his view toward slavery was not initially radical. Equiano’s goal was to ban slave trade, but this goal did not immediately spring from his supposed capture in Nigeria, his native country. Rather, it was a continuous progression throughout his life, modified with every new experience he faced. Equiano mainly became an abolitionist because of the emotional and physical effects slavery had on him and his peers, the economic benefit of banning slave trade, and the human rights naturally given to every man and woman at birth, which he believed were conveyed through the word of God in the Old and New Testament. The callousness that Caucasians showed toward blacks, and even that blacks showed toward other blacks, deeply troubled Equiano. Blacks were viewed as subhuman, not able to survive on their own. These attitudes were not only painful to view because of the pain and suffering that blacks endured, but also because it psychological
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Although Olaudah Equiano was not directly involved in American slavery, several aspects of The Life of Olaudah Equiano can be used to understand why the institution lasted so long. A major part of the novel was dedicated to counter one of the major propagating ideas of slavery: the widespread myth that Africans were either not fully human or were of a less developed branch of humanity so enslaving them was moral. Equiano spends the first section of the book
One example of a black individual who was a significant influence on the abolitionist movement was Olaudah Equiano (also known as Gustavus Vassa) a freed slave that spoke about his terrifying life story which helped contribute towards the end of the slave trade. Equiano was born in 1736 and bought his freedom as a slave in 1767. Equiano began his involvement in the abolitionist movement in the 1780’s when he published his best-selling book ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African’ in 1789. At the time, many Britons thought Africans were illiterate but Equiano proved them wrong as he could ‘wield the English language well’ and learnt several skills whilst still a slave. Furthermore, his book
"I believe there are few events in my life which have not happened to many; it is true the incidents of it are numerous, and, did I consider myself an European, I might say my sufferings were great; but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen, I regard myself as a particular favorite of heaven, and acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life." Olaudah Equiano lived the life as a slave like many black people of the 18th century. He was born free but soon was forced into slavery which took him all around the world. From his accounts he has written down, he shows his life as a slave. Equiano had been bought and sold throughout the Americas and Europe; he showed the
The narrative of Olaudah Equiano is truly a magnificent one. Not only does the reader get to see the world through Equiano's own personal experiences, we get to read a major autobiography that combined the form of a slave narrative with that of a spiritual conversion autobiography. Religion may be viewed as at the heart of the matter in Equiano's long, remarkable journey. Through Equiano's own experiences, the reader uncovers just how massive a role religion played in the part of his Narrative and in that of his own life. More specifically, we learn of how his religious conversion meant a type of freedom as momentous as his own independence from slavery. As one reads
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.
Olaudah Equiano, the author of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was captured in Africa and sold into slavery. Later in life, he purchased his freedom and wrote his autobiography in 1789. Equiano experienced hardships beyond imaging in his years as a slave and oftentimes witnessed extensive cruelty by whites towards Africans. Equiano 's experience of the Atlantic slave trade and middle passage as we understand it today was typical of a regular captive. The Atlantic slave trade, more specifically the experience that Equiano had was horrific. The Atlantic slave trade stands as one of the greatest mistreatments towards other humans to have ever happened, for nearly 400 years this occurred. Equiano 's experience however
Another detail that Equiano incorporated within his writing, is the meaning of his name. As he says in the text “I was named Olaudah, which, in our language, signifies vicissitude or fortune also, one favoured, and having a loud voice and well spoken” (Gates Jr. & Smith 121). Equiano was a man who was the youngest born son to village leaders who owned slaves, became a captive of slavery himself, briefly worked in the fields as a slave before following his master overseas and ultimately buying his own freedom. What’s most profound throughout that, is the fact that he used his voice to help others who are stuck where he was able to break free. PBS has an article where
In Olaudah Equiano narrative discusses the many obstacles, struggles which he has to overcome for his path to freedom. Equiano had many difficult problems in his life which many people have taken a special role in. I will discuss about the countless people that had both positive and negative impact in Equiano’s life. Equiano’s life was not an easy one, I will argue despite the many obstacles that came across his life he always remained strong which is why he was able to gain his freedom. I will discuss the major transitions that were made in in his. The unexpected journeys that came in his life and changed it entirely.
The slave trade, yet horrific in it’s inhumanity, became an important aspect of the world’s economy during the eighteenth century. During a time when thousands of Africans were being traded for currency, Olaudah Equiano became one of countless children kidnapped and sold on the black market as a slave. Slavery existed centuries before the birth of Equiano (1745), but strengthened drastically due to an increasing demand for labor in the developing western hemisphere, especially in the Caribbean and Carolinas. Through illogical justification, slave trading became a powerful facet of commerce, regardless of its deliberate mistreatment of human beings by other human beings. Olaudah Equiano was able to overcome this intense
Slavery for many was a time of despair and anguish, it felt like hell not only by the heat of the sun, but, by the treatment many received from their owners as well. Despite written almost 100 years apart, two of the most famous and well known slave narratives that give the modern day reader just an idea of what slavery was like are, Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave” and Olaudah Equiano’s “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano”. The journey of these two young men, although in many ways are similar, from a larger perspective could not be more different. For Oroonoko a somewhat established young man who comes from royalty, optimizes what it means to be a noble savage. As for a young Equiano who seems to spend most of his childhood in slavery, must find a way to overcome the hand he has been dealt and work hard to earn his freedom. Throughout both of these stories there are similarities and there are differences as well. Some of the most interesting aspects that might stand out to the reader are, the aspect of slavery and or the lack of it, suicide and how both characters go about it in their own way and points of view and how the reader is influenced by it.
History shows that both Africans and African Americans alike faced unique problems prior to and during the 1800's, particularly prior to 1865. One such problem is the issue of Diaspora and how culture and slavery has affected the choice of religion. It is the purpose of this paper to expose comparatively the extent to which individuals have been influenced by these issues. One such individual is Olaudah Equiano. By following and analyzing some of the key moments of faith in his life, this paper seeks to expose the extent to which the series of controversial dialectical incidents that happen throughout his early life, i.e., his cultural African religious traditions
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was organized on a three point circuit of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It was the largest forced migration of people globally; between 20 and 30 million people with souls, lives, and families were transported from Africa to the Americas. This dim period of human history took place during the 16th and 19th centuries. The premise of this trade was to recruit Africans to work on European plantations anywhere from the eastern parts of North America in plantations all way down to the West Coast of South America working in mines. This undertaking of domineering over other human beings were due to the pseudo ideas that Africans had the ability and power to work tirelessly on farms with power. It was thought that Native Americans were not energetic enough to undertake farm labor. Although don’t get it wrong, Europeans did not introduce the idea of slavery. Slavery has existed since the dawn of time through all cultures, prisoners of war, anti-socials, people in debt, and many others were enslaved. To think though that the Europeans sailed over to Africa and just took natives from their homes would
The narrative by Olaudah Equiano gives an interesting perspective of slavery both within and outside of Africa in the eighteenth century. From these writings we can gain insight into the religion and customs of an African culture. We can also see how developed the system of trade was within Africa, and worldwide by this time. Finally, we hear an insider's view on being enslaved, how slaves were treated in Africa, and what the treatment of African slaves was like at the hands of the Europeans.
Source Analysis for The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or. Gustavus Vassa, The African published in 1789 (2009, p. 29-31) This essay will closely analyse a primary source extract from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or. Gustavus Vassa, The African (2009, p. 29-31). Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography titled The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or. Gustavus Vassa, The African was published 1789 in London, with financial aid from The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
Religion plays a significant part in The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano, an African man experiencing slavery during the Transatlantic slave trade, and a series of poems written by Phillis Wheatley, an African poet and former slave in 18th century Boston. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano is a first-person abolitionist slave narrative published in 1789 about Equiano’s experience being forced from his home, Africa, displaced from location to location, and his eventual discovery of Christianity. While the series of poems written by Phillis Wheatley was created during the Revolutionary Era (1764-1789) in Phillis’ leisure time. Both Equiano and Wheatley were Africans whose works drew from their experience