Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative

621 Words3 Pages
Narrative Chapter One

Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative, is a special case of literature history. Years before the writings of Fredrick Douglass, it spoke of the horrible truths of slavery to persuade its readers to listen to its reason. Though Equiano’s authenticity to his story being that of his own life can be questionable at times, his writings still strive for the greater purpose of “promoting the interest of humanity” (688).
Equiano starts the first chapter and the beginning of his story explaining the life he had in Africa. Knowing his audience will be that of white Europeans and Americans, he debunks the harsh prejudice that is presume on the continent. Equaino then tries to humanize a place that has though to be a pit of savagery into three points: location, government and customs. He narrows the location of the assumed place of his birth from the broadness of Africa to the district of Essaka, using the mathematic terminology of miles to explain the distance. “It is situated nearly under the line, and extends along the coast about 170 miles, but runs back into the interior part of Africa to a distance hitherto I believe unexplored by any traveler; and seems only
…show more content…
This chapter helps to separate the “savage” from “man”, which is the whole point in Equaino’s fight against slavery; his case that an African man is just as human as a white one. Therefore, the first chapter of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative is a good setup for the story and overall message for the interests of humanity. Work cited

Equiano, Olaudah. "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself" The Norton Anthology of American Literature.. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. A. New York: Norton, 2012. 688-689.
Open Document