In Equiano's personal slave narrative, "The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African", Equiano flips the idea that the African people are backwards and barbaric, thus ripe for slavery, by demonstrating his personal exceptionalism through his literacy to show that it is truly the white people who are backwards and barbaric through their own hypocrisy. This reversal that Equiano demonstrates in his slave narrative shows that the savagery of African people exists as a misconception and makes the reader fully grasp the need to abolish slavery and any inequality present.
In Chapter 1 and 2 of “Creating Black Americans,” author Nell Irvin Painter addresses an imperative issue in which African history and the lives of Africans are often dismissed (2) and continue to be perceived in a negative light (1). This book gives the author the chance to revive the history of Africa, being this a sacred place to provide readers with a “history of their own.” (Painter 4)
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. He mainly focused on the 1700’s when Britain controlled most of the slave trade throughout the world. During the book, Rediker informs the reader about the tortured slaves as they were shipped from West Africa to the new world. Marcus Rediker, a professor at the University of Pittsburg, taught history and starting researching the slave trade by
Toni Morrison theorized that “With typically eighteenth-century reticence [Olaudah Equiano] records his singular and representative life for one purpose; to change things,” (512). He wanted to challenge the way people viewed slavery. History explains the gruesome and disturbing past that the African slaves experienced in terms of being owned, abused, and controlled under barbaric behaviors of white men. Due to the devastating and unthinkable actions committed to the African slaves, they were unable to share their mistreatment with the world and their voice was forced to stay silent. In literary works, people are able to become a voice throughout history, and because African slaves were kept quiet, they did not get the change to share with the
Through the years of 1750 to 1901, the journey of thousands of humans sailed out overseas. With many decisions, they all experienced something different, from those who were forced to leave, had to leave or chose to leave. The voyage of slaves, convicts and free settlers differed immensely, yet, they still had slight similarities.
Douglass uses paradox to demonstrate that slavery degragrates the slaverholder. When Douglass under Mr. Sever’s care he described that: “He was less cruel, less profane…He whipped, but seemed to take no pleasure in it.”(Douglass 24). Most slaveholders are characterized to be cruel and inhuman because of the whipping and the way they treated the slaves. However Douglass points out that it is not the fault of the slave owner but because of the slaves since Mr. Sever “[took] no pleasure in it”. He continues to develop the corruption of the slaveholder when Mr. Plummer: “the louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where theblood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.”(Douglass 20). Mr. Plummer is the typical slaverholder is the outcome
The brutally of slaves and beating up slaves. How in Equiano the author was talking about how he had never seen so much brutally and mistreatment with slaves and in Falconbridge it talks about how The traders frequently beat those slaves. Then as well with the Middle passage traveling how in Falconbridge it says "The man slaves, on being brought aboard the ship, are immediately fastened together, two and two, by hand-cuffs on their wrists, and by irons riveted on their leg" (Freeman 3). And then in Equiano it talks about how the author saw tons of slaved chained together and he was horrified.
Throughout the book we see occasions on how Equiano was lucky such as, he was able to buy his freedom, tried to run away and was not punished, and was able to improve his education. Equiano accomplished to gain his freedom which is something that most slaves found impossible to do. One of the reasons Equiano was able to buy his freedom is because of his captain. For example “ I verily believe I should not have obtained my freedom when I did; and it not improbable that I might not have been able to get it any rate afterwards.” (The Interesting Narrative of Oladuah Equiano p.107) This is one of many examples on how lucky Equiano was. He realized that if he never obtained his freedom from his captain he would’ve never been freed. It is not often
Alexander Falconbridge was an English surgeon. He worked as a ship doctor for a slave ship for five years. He later stopped working as a ship doctor because he disagreed with slavery. While he was working he had a “blind eye” and believed they bred Negros for sale as they did cattle. Black traders sold the “Negroes” to the European purchasers and they examine the “negroes” to make sure they have good health and are able to do a lot of labor. The “Negro” men are handcuff on their wrist and by iron riveted on their legs, but the women are not handcuffed. When the ship is full and there is no space, the “Negros” are forced to lie on their sides or lay one upon another. The “Negroes” use the bathroom in tubs that are too small and emptied once
The Slave Ship by Robert Riggs and The interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself by Olaudah Equiano has many similarities depicted within the works. Upon viewing the painting, the first item that attracted my eye was the man leaping overboard through the gap in the net around the top left of the painting (Riggs). When I saw this, I immediately thought of Equiano’s description of the three men that had jumped overboard to escape the horrors of the ship. Two of the men perished, but one man was rescued and punished by a vicious flogging for trying to escape (Equiano 698). This leads to the next similarity that these two works share. Equiano wrote “one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid
In the light of two prominent newspapers in Massachusetts during the 1760s there was a great paradox of the citizens view on freedom and slavery. To understand this paradox, the newspapers will chronologically show how the citizens of Massachusetts believed in freedom from Britain was important but neglected to give the blacks their freedom. It is important to note that every time people mentioned slavery it was not for the slaves, but the “political slavery” with Britain. Through analyzing these newspapers and reading secondary literature on these matters, one can recognize the paradox of liberty. The slave advertisements, reading Mrs. Macaulay’s History and the discrimination during the Stamp Act. By doing this one can get a full view of
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.
Alexander Falconbridge served as a surgeon on the ships that transported slaves through the middle passage. He managed to only make four voyages between 1780 and 1787 due to the harsh circumstances he was witnessing, which ultimately led him to write An Account of the Middle Passage. The Middle Passage was the hardest and most dangerous part of the voyage for any slave transported out of Africa. The article carefully describes the strenuous conditions the slaves were in while being in the ships. An analysis of Alexander Falconbridge’s An Account of the Middle Passage reveals how this surgeon’s perspective aided the progression of the abolition movement by showcasing a new perspective of the Middle Passage, and how his purpose was to inform the general public on how dreadful these