Today’s society understands the evil entangled with slavery, but America once routinely practiced it. Olaudah Equiano, an enslaved African who lived through the tragic and corrupt acts of the slave trade writes about his struggles in an autobiography. Equiano exposes the turpitude behind the bondage of blacks by employing the power of literary elements. He tells the appalling story of his life with rhetorical devices and persuasive techniques in order to promote a policy of equality and advance a movement of emancipation from slavery. Olaudah Equiano uses imagery, emotional appeal, and persuasive language in “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” to show the reader the theme that society has no place for slavery and the …show more content…
People consider a slave ship in the 1700s one of the scariest and most dangerous places on Earth at the time. Equiano describes the wicked conditions of the transatlantic slave trade and its affects on him and his peers. Equiano writes, “One day, when we had a smooth sea and moderate wind, two of my wearied countrymen who were chained together, preferring death to such a life of misery, somehow made through the nettings and jumped into the sea,” (Equiano 173). In these lines Equiano gives the reader an idea of the horrifying events on the ships including the death of his companions. Portraying this to readers helps them empathize with his experiences through the imagery of his work. Slave ships drain Africans mentally but also physically. Unsanitary and dangerous ships hold hundreds of slaves in the bottom of them making conditions unbearable. Equiano documents these conditions saying, “Many a time we were near suffocation from the want of fresh air, which we were often without for whole days together. This, and the stench of the necessary tubs, carried off many,” (Equiano). Many slaves die from these egregious conditions if they chose not to attempt suicide. Diseases of all kinds and the lack of food plague the slaves and kill many. Equiano relives his trauma in great detail to give the reader an image of the slave ships. He does this to convince people that slavery ultimately must come to an
The appearance of the Atlantic world, especially to the eyes of Equiano, was one that could be described as interesting. We are introduced to a young colored man who has been forced into a new country due to the acts of slavery and is in fear of his life, while in the movie Black Robe, we are introduced to how a Jesuit priest comes to a new land in order to convert the natives of that country. In this essay, readers will be introduced to how a colored person sees a world differently unlike one who comes from such a country such as Europe. On page 91, Equiano starts off by explaining his conditions in his new master 's quarters and how he is shown the graphic details of being a slave, by seeing a woman, who is his own skin color, muzzled
In this novel both of these men tell their stories and give us an insight on how their lives were living in slavery. Their narratives go into detail on how they were treated, what they saw, and what their own experiences were trying to escape. Olaudah Equiano
In Equiano’s case, this seems to have worked since he stated, “This made me fear these people the more…” (Equiano). Additionally, the horrors of these slave ships did not end with the brutality of the crew. “The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself…the air soon became unfit for respiration…and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died” (Equiano). For these slaves, death came at the hands of their captors and through disease. The perilous journey that led Equiano to a new land was similar to the journey of many slaves and servants across the
He describes the anguish, anxiety and despair that surrounded him on the slave ship with vivid detail. He leaves no detail spared as he describes slaves throwing themselves off of the boat seeing death as a better alternative than the fate that awaits them. Equino uses imagery in his text to show the reader the anguish they felt and appeals to the readers emotions to elicit a response to the wrongdoings of the white men that had enslaved them and kept them in such horrible conditions. For example he writes, “One day they had taken a number of fishes; and when they had killed and satisfied themselves with as many as they thought fit, to our astonishment who were on the deck, rather than give any of them to us to eat, as we expected, they tossed the remaining fish into the sea again…”(pg. 173) this shows the reader the cruelty of the men on the boat and makes the reader feel an emotion.
While aboard the ship, the slaves were placed in a common living quarter under the deck of the ship; hundreds of slaves were packed like sardines and chained during the voyage across the Atlantic. When first introduced to a new setting, under the deck, Equiano remarks, “there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: So that with the loathsomeness of the stench and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat…” (Rowlandson 56). Equiano was placed in an environment with sickening conditions compared to Rowlandson’s discomfort and change of standard of living that made her conditions
In his book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, African author Olaudah Equiano wrote about his life and experiences after being sold into the slave trade. Equiano used his writing to expose the horrors of slavery and the agony he and other slaves faced. He wrote with the hope that by exposing the horrors that slaves endure, people would realize how wicked slavery was and put an end to it. Equiano spoke about his encounters with white men in the Middle Passage and how he was terrified of them in chapter two of his book. As they examined him when he initially boarded the ship, he described how he was terrified: "I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me."
The story of Frederick Douglass’ is one of the most gruesome stories ever written in American literary history. The narrative goes in-depth about how the process of slavery was. It talks about how people would get whipped for the smallest of issues, dying if they resist enough, and even the process of the slave trade. It even shows how people become very different after the entire system of slavery gets into their minds. Through his powerful narrative, Frederick Douglass demonstrates how slavery dehumanizes not only the enslaved but also the enslaver, as it strips individuals of their basic humanity and perpetuates a system of cruelty and oppression.
17.1 Captivity and Enslavement, Olaudah Equiano, the interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano written by himself 1. What are Equiano’s impressions of the white men on the ship and their treatment of the slaves? How does this treatment reflect the slave traders’ primary concerns? Equiano’s first impression of these white men is a feeling of uncertainty and sorrow for the future. As his story goes on Equiano is afraid of these white men, but also he is wishing to end it all because of the conditions and treatment of the slaves.
The Slave Ship, by Marcus Rediker was wrote in 2007 about the cruel and brutal actions the slaves endured on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. He states, “this has been a painful book to write, if I have done any justice to the subject, it will be a painful book to read.” Marcus Rediker accomplished exactly that. This book was not only compelling but emotional, heartbreaking, and makes a reader think, how could someone be so cruel to another living being. Within the first couple pages, the book brought me to tears.
Equiano’s narrative not only opens doors to ending slavery, but gives us some clear insight about the many struggles the slaves endure. “Equaino Olaudah was born in the mid-1700s, in the tribe of Ibo in the village of Essaka (Benin) from the kingdom of Benin which is southeastern Nigeria, West Africa”. According to the author, “Equiano was captured by black slave raider at age 11or 12, then he and his sister were kidnapped. After he and his sister were kidnapped, they were separated, he spent months in the administration of a dark ruler, whose treatment of him was mellow compared and the ruthlessness of the British slave merchants to whom he was sold before long. “He was taken to Barbados in West Indies by the slave merchants, however, he was not sold there, the traders took him to America, he was bought by a Virginia plantation owner in America”.
Olaudah Equiano and Frederick Douglass, both experienced the hardship of enslavement at a youthful age. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they both wrote narratives explaining the lives they experienced as slaves or expressed the lives slaves lived. During this time period, slaves experienced miserable lifestyles, along with unforgettable scarring moments forced upon them by their commanders. Although they lived in different time periods, both of their narratives about the life of slavery to freedom have similar and dissimilar details. Their personal first-handed narratives presented to the world the harsh treatment slaves endured and the weakness they must show to survive.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
Throughout the narrative, the author includes his personal stories about experiencing the violence of slavery first-hand. For example, on page 20, he writes about the first time he witnessed a slave, his own aunt, getting the whip. “The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest…I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition… It struck me with awful force. It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery…” The author including his experience of his aunts whipping, in detail, appeals to the emotions of the reader.
The first author that I chose to analyze is Olaudah Equiano. He wrote narratives about his experiences on the slave ship as well his experiences as a slave. He writes in first person narratives to describe his terrible memories as a slave. In his narrative, he states, “The stench of the hold, while we were on the coast, was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time.” This sentence is describing the harsh conditions on the boat from Africa to America.
Equiano then describes the extreme and harsh conditions of his experience in what has come to be known as the “Middle Passage”. Equiano was in a state of shock and disbelief as he had never seen the way Europeans treated and abused African slaves on the way to North America. In spite of all of this Equiano saw a light of positivity and did not lose