The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano


This paper is written by perfect essay writers and discusses the slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano.  In writing the slave narrative, there is usually the use of three structural parts to include slavery and the harsh treatment experienced by the slave, escape which was believed to be the hope of every slave thereby having the ability to escape the harsh treatment and finally freedom which meant no longer being a slave while having the ability to do what the individual desires to do without having to answer to anyone. This is a common construct in autobiographical and religious writing as it is believed that many contemporary theologians use this concept to reveal how the religious beliefs and commitments have the ability to shape an individual’s character (Barbour, 1987).  There is a three-part scheme found in the Bible to include sin, conversion, and rebirth. Equiano’s autobiography can also be read as a parallel to the Genesis story of Adam and Eve with Africa being innocence experienced in the Garden of Eden, America/Europe as knowledge, education, and technology.  The question to be answered is why Equiano adopted this sort of writing style or what was the purpose or motive of his narrative?

There could be several reasons for Equiano adopting this style of writing, but from the personal perspective, it is believed that this style of writing occurred not only to inform the writer of what occurred in Equiano’s life but to allow the writer to feel some of the emotion that was experienced by Equiano.  As an example, when reading the Bible, Genesis Chapter 2-8 shares that God planted a garden eastward in Eden placing man in the garden with God making every tree grow that was pleasurable to the eyes with everything being good for food (Biblegateway, 2018). The Garden of Eden was perfect offering not only beauty but also sustenance. With Equiano sharing his autobiography he starts at the beginning of his life which instead of being filled with beauty,  the boy was kidnapped with his sister being separated sometime later (Equiano, n.d.).  Unlike Adam whose first day was a day of rest, Equiano’s life was a life of uncertainty being taken away from his family.  The joy and innocence that most children experienced were replaced not only with uncertainty but by Equiano serving as a slave.  The motive of the narrative was to describe the experience in a manner that could be felt by the reader.  Equiano makes the description of his life in a simple yet understanding manner with his life beginning without him having any knowledge of the world outside of the community where he spent the first part of his life.

It is most interesting to see the many experiences that Equiano encountered in his life. His writing style holds the reader’s attention while also allowing the reader’s imagination as a reflection of inner freedom as well as the autonomy of Equiano. Though he is a slave, he has the opportunity to travel and to see the world.  Countries to include England, Scotland, Nova Scotia and the Caribbean allow his to experience life differently than most slaves, especially the slaves that were in Georgia and South Carolina.  America and Europe were known to Equiano with him becoming educated, earning money and having the ability to buy his freedom.  Knowing how to write and to publish his autobiography also reveals his uniqueness in the 1700s.  From the personal perspective, it can only be imagined what his real-life experience was like in reality.

The subject matter is also of interest as it is somewhat difficult to believe that Equiano had a growing attachment to his master to include a desire to imitate the culture of the English.  It can be understood that this feeling could occur because Equiano was immersed in this culture while also learning to speak English very well.  In sharing this information, the writer can show emotion in the midst of a challenging time in his life.  Another unusual occurrence in the readings is people treating Equiano with respect while also supporting him in his education as well as his interest in Christianity (Equiano, n.d.).  Finally, it was of interest to learn that Equiano was allowed to be baptized into a church (Equiano, n.d.).  From the personal perspective, this information allowed gaining knowledge that even during the time of slavery all slaves were not beaten and mistreated which before reading about Equiano was a personal belief.

The writing style of Equiano was not the only narrative in nature but was also descriptive as he revealed details and factual information about his life bringing the reader into the story of his life in an exciting manner.  Equiano followed the pattern of the spiritual autobiography revealing the spiritual and physical enslavement which played a major role in his life leading him to a place in life that would not have occurred without each incident.  The next part of the writing is the conversion, and the escape from slavery as Equiano was able to work, earn money and to buy his freedom.  Lastly, the rebirth of his life took place allowing him to become a Christian and to be baptized in a church and the experience of personal freedom which was true freedom in every sense of the word.  Every part of the writings that are read describe credibility with the reader becoming a part of the story that is shared by Equiano.  The narrative of Olaudah Equiano is most interesting revealing how a man goes from slavery to freedom with a positive attitude.  The author use narration as well as diction recounting his experiences in a manner that is completely understood by the reader.

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