The Narrative Of Olaudah Equiano And Gustavus Vassa, The African

869 Words4 Pages
The Interesting Narrative of The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself told the story of a man’s personal experience of being kidnapped from his home in present day Nigeria, being forced into slavery, and then eventually buying his own freedom all while discovering his true self along the way. Despite the story giving many people around the world an inside look at how brutal the slave trade really was, it caused great controversy. Vincent Carretta questioned the authenticity of Equiano’s identity as an African in his early life. The Narrative was framed to truly influence readers opinions, rather than just educate. Equiano used the identity he created for himself as a way to help readers relate. The controversy surrounding it does have an effect on the narrative as a historical document but not on the true purpose of the story behind it.
In the beginning of the narrative, Equiano informs the reader about how early life in Africa, before being kidnapped at the age of twelve along with his sister, was. He discusses his native country’s manners and customs in a way very dear to him (Chapter 1). After being kidnapped and encountering the European man, he continued to question their culture and manners compared to his own. But as he became assimilated more, he becomes blinded by the desire to want to become more like the European man, while forgetting about this African culture. In chapter four of his narrative, he even admits that he
Open Document