Olaudah Equiano Hardships

835 Words4 Pages

Can you imagine being kidnapped from your home and sold during the slave trade? Can you imagine living on a planation being mistreated, beaten, and basically treated like an animal? You will read about such events in Olaudah Equiano autobiography “The interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African”. He wasn’t the first African slave, however the first former slave to share his experience.
Equiano demonstrates his narrative by expressing with readers a look into his life from a child being kidnapped and becoming a slave and working towards a free man again. Just a young child being ripped away from everything his home, everything he owned, and even being stripped from the little human rights he has. An …show more content…

Many a time we were near suffocation from the want of fresh air, which we were often without for whole days together” (Equiano, 2004). In this quote, Equiano shares detail of the conditions of Africans as they were shipped across the sea. Slaves were chained in shackles that prevent them body movement. There was no privacy for anybody they were so packed in the cargo area there wasn’t even room to even breathe fresh air. Slaves were suffocating breathing in harmful toxins. Through the journey Slaves were barely fed. The slave capturers would capture fish along the sea and eat them. Then they would give the slaves the straps, the little food and water they did provide was not enough to survive a few slave didn’t make it. Due to the fact of the horrible conditions slave were in some slaves would die and the slave capturers would just throw them over ship. The second topic is Equiano described that slaves were treated better than free former slaves. Once he traveled and witnesses other slave being sold during the slave trade, Equiano has also been sold off to other slave owners until he was sold off to his last owner. He was treated well from his former slave owners. Even though he witness the beatings and slave being sold, Equiano comparatively lived a decent life. During his time in slavery he was able to learn to read, write, …show more content…

In this situation is it surprising that slaves, when mildly treated, should prefer even the misery of slavery to such a mockery of freedom?” (Equiano O. , 2014). As a reader you would believe that Equiano buying himself out of slavery is awesome, did he would slaves that time was impossible. Equiano release from slavery was the most substantial moment in his story. However, after reading this quotes readers get to see the difficulties he tolerated once he became a free man again. Even though, I know freedom for former slaves would not be easy. The thing that really caught my attention is freedom can be taken away from former slaves quick and they can go right back into slavery. This is because there are no laws or regulations that can protect them from enslavement

Open Document