LitLink

This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Equiano

I believe that Equiano's Interesting Narrative is a brilliant ploy at educating the reader of the harsh reality and horrors of the slave trading that occurred in the 18th century. It is a compelling story that appeals to the reader's emotions in every fashion. While reading the first few chapters I personally felt a great deal of sympathy for the loss the young Equiano suffered. How terrible it must have been to be kidnapped and sold into slavery, being treated as though you were an animal of some sort. The very thought of going through and experience of that magnitude makes me shutter. After traveling a great deal of distance from their home, Equiano describes the first night that he and his sister were taken. "We were then unbound, but we were unable to take any food; and being quite overpowered by fatigue and grief, our only relief was some sleep, which allayed our misfortune for a short time." He then goes on to tell of the very next day when he and his sister were separated and sold to different masters. Equiano was so sticken with even more grief that he has was again unable to eat for days.

The anger within me erupted as Equiano described his voyage and the misfortune that he encountered on the slave ship. The poor slaves were subjected to such ill treatment that some threw themselves overboard to hopefully perish at sea, but to their own demise were saved from their sweet ending by the crew on the ship. The captives were chained to each other in the hull of the ship with nothing but the stench of the person next to them in their nose. Such harsh conditions should not even be suiting to a hog. Equiano described "I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life; I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, nor has I the least desire to taste anything."

Equiano himself even considered death as a welcomed friend that he wanted to meet. The evil men operating these slave routed aboard these ships have shown no compassion or even any sense of humanity. Some believe that these men turned the slaves into savages though harsh punishment, but I believe that these slave trading men must not have been men at all, they must have been beast to treat these individuals with such inconceivable treatment. It is sick to think that these men could cruise up to a foreign country and think that they had the right to enslave the inhabitants. How disgusting is the whole operation.

As Equiano is passed from master to master and ship to new lands he describes many encounters with other slaves and the ill treatment that they endured. Equiano' s life as a slave was terrible, I could not imagine myself being able to endure such hardship and pain. But, Equiano considered himself luck and blessed by the grace of God in comparison to the other slaves. Equiano' s experiences made him a strong individual and encouraged him, once a free man, to fight for the lives of many other blacks that were enslaved by these brutes. Perhaps all of the hardship that he endured was worth the stand the he was able to make again slavery. The old saying that "what does not kill us only makes us stronger"comes to my mind when I picture this courageous man.

Brandi Venable-Crawford

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