Olaudah Equiano Character Analysis

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A journey can have a transformative impact on someone. Literature is chock full of examples of characters being drastically changed by what they experience while travel. Two stories that depict this theme that will be discussed in this paper are The Dream of the Rood, and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano. In Equiano’s autobiography, the main character suffers a shock to the system when he is ripped away from everything he knows and is taken aboard a slave ship. The journey leads him to question his religion, and enter into a deep sorrow. In The Dream of the Rood, the narrator similarly has a transformative journey that leads to the narrator having a religious epiphany. The main difference being is…show more content…
In the beginning of his memoir, he describes his villages as “a charming fruitful vale” (Equiano 141). He also talks about the love and closeness he has for his sister, who was ripped away from him over the course of his kidnapping. This perfect world for Equiano comes to a stark end. He becomes darker and more understandably angry as his memoirs go on. His one relief in this situation is being able to converse with his countrymen, but even that is taken away from him. “I now totally lost the small remains of comfort I had enjoyed in conversing with my countrymen” (Equiano 161). He is totally isolated, in an unrecognizable world. Being able to have someone to talk to and share your fears and thoughts with can be a small comfort in life altering situations. Without the ability to converse with anyone, Equiano becomes more and more miserable, and just wishes for his misery to end. “ I was now exceedingly miserable, and thought myself worse off than any of the rest of my companions, for they could talk to each other, but I had no person to speak to…I was constantly grieving and pinning, and wishing for death” (Equiano 161). Equiano would rather have jumped over the side of the boat and plunge into the great unknown than have to suffer anymore isolation, or cruelty. This is another example of how dark, he becomes. Equiano was forced to leave behind everything he has ever known. And on top of all that he was…show more content…
The unknown narrator has a vision in which he comes upon a magnificent tree. The tree or Rood is actually the cross that bears Christ. “I saw the tree of glory/ honored in garments, shining with joy” (Dream Rood 14-15). The Rood, the narrator discern, has wounds and it is even stained with blood. The Rood tells the narrator how it had been ripped out of the ground, and was forced to have Christ nailed to it: “then I saw the lord of mankind/ hasten eagerly when he wanted to ascend onto me” (Dream Rood 33-34). The Rood tells how he wept for the loss to mankind when Christ was killed. “One me the son of God/ Suffered for a time; and so, glorious now/ I rise under the heavens, and am able to heal/ each of those who is in awe of me” (Dream Rood 82-85). The narrator of the dream does not seem to be a religious man. However after hearing the Rood’s emotional account of the crucifixion of Christ, his tone begins to change. This is primarily because the Rood passes on a mission to the narrator. The Rood says: “now I bid you…that you reveal this vision to men” (Dream Rood 94-95). The narrator who went into the dream as just a simple man, is now transformed into a prophet of sorts. He is tasked with passing on the story and teachings of Christ. The narrator is overly excited to begin his task. He says: “my spirit longed to start/ the journey forth” (Dream Rood 123-124). Religion gave

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