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

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Equiano's Slavery

In Equiano's narrative I love how he is able to create such a modest ethos for
himself. In the begging of his narrative, Equiano apologizes to his audience and writes that he does not want to be praised or pitied. "Let it therefore be
remembered, that, in wishing to avoid censure, I do not aspire to praise" (408). This shows how modest Equiano is and that his sole concern is about the inhumane treatment of slaves. Equiano does not tell his story to be pitied, he writes his narrative to make his audience aware of the practice of slavery and how cruel and unjust it is. This is what drew me in to Equiano's narrative. His story made me want to learn more about the slavery and his tale kept me interested through the end. Through Equiano's narrative, he is trying to reform the practice of slavery. He is not critiquing the institution because when Robert King offers him a slave he doesn't say anything. "...have land and slaves of my own. I thanked him for this instance of friendship; but, as I wished very much to be in London, I declined
remaining any longer there, and begged he would excuse me" (451-52).The idea of slavery is completely normal for him. Even back home in Africa, they have slaves; however, they are treated just as good as the citizens. They are not taken from their home as children like Equiano or beaten and flogged to death. In Africa, the slaves are captives that were captured during war. The idea of slavery does not seem to bother Equiano, it is the inhumane treated these slaves are put through that motivates him to write this slave narrative. I find it interesting that Equiano is so passionate about the unjust treatment of slaves, although, he was always treated with kindness. Equiano's slave masters were his authority figures. Since Equiano was taken from his home at search an early age, he is constantly searching for someone to love him, an authority figure. Equiano's masters teach him their ways such as religion, language, writing, etc. Equiano is finally freed by the kindness of his masters and it is their teaching that enables Equiano to write such a sentimental, moving piece such as his narrative.


Blogger Brent Griffin said...

I like that first point you made about Equiano "true" view on slavery. You also made good use of the quote: "Let it therefore be
remembered, that, in wishing to avoid censure, I do not aspire to praise" (408). (The page numbering was also a eye opener :=0) The last thing that I like was how you slightly questioned his slave credibility, pointing out the fact that he wasn't treated like a regular slave and had a lot of good fortunes for his social status. I tried to point that out in my entry to, but your was a lot more blunt than mine.

8:38 AM  

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