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The Interesting Narrative Of Olaudah Equiano And Penry

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Religion plays a significant part in both The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano, a former slave, and a series of poems written by Phillis Wheatley, a former slave who resided in Boston. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano is a first person abolitionist slave narrative published in 1789 about Equiano’s experiences during the Transatlantic Slave trade retelling Equiano being forced from his home, the disparity from being moved from place to place, and his discovery of Christianity. While the series of poems written by Phillis Wheatley was created in the Revolutionary Era (1764-1789) during Phillis’ leisure time. Both Equiano and Wheatley were Africans whose works drew from their experience of slavery and…show more content…
When referencing the statement “black as Cain,” Wheatley alludes to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The story told in the bible, shows the dangerous result of jealousy and anger. In the story, Cain and Abel two brothers who God asked them to both bring a sacrifice. Abel brought his sacrifice to God the way that God requested, while Cain didn’t and his sacrifice was rejected. As a result, Cain became angered and projected that anger onto Abel, eventually killing his brother. In order to rationalize and continue the injustice of slavery, white slave owners people used the concept of the ‘rejected brother’ to validate the enslavement of Africans. But, Wheatley opposes this view by saying that even Africans who bare the “stain of Cain” can become refined and be forgiven when they accept Jesus Christ.
In his narrative, Equiano shares a similar sentiment as Wheatley regarding a pivotal spiritual transition from darkness to light. On page 65, Equiano is exposed to the concept of Christianity when he sees snow for the first time. He asks his Captain who made the snow, the captain replies, “... a great man in the heavens, called God…” (Equiano 65). Then, Equiano recalls his experience going to church. Equiano says, “...I was again amazed at seeing and hearing the service. I asked all I could about it; and they gave me to understand it was worshipping God, who made us and all things” (Equiano 65). Nonetheless, Equiano’s
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