LitLink

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

LitLink

LitLink
My Essay

What rhetorical strategies does Equiano use in arguing against slavery?

In the passage where he thinks he is describing how a certain group of European. ''I have never seen among my people such as instances of brutal cruelty’’ and then says how they turn a man into a brute or something less than a human being.
A few more passages down he discusses the horrors on the ship that he feels reduced himself so low from constant fear of what the screams were about and if those instances would happen to him. This must have really put an opinion of the whites is his mind from all the constant cruelty that was implied on an hourly basis for many days. The consistent stress on the mind is wearing him down to the point where death is more valued than life amongst the slaves.
He talks about hearing the cries of brothers being separated from each other on the ship and quotes a passage from a Christian religion ‘’do unto all men as you would men should do unto you’’ well he asks the question of this quotes, ‘’should all mankind suffer the most unimaginable fears in the life of being torn from their loved ones for ever just to satisfy a buyer’s choice?’’ this is a new way to punish a man, not just by slavery, but by taking everything else from them that is no material. Maybe he doesn’t understand at this time why a Christian would believe these words and then do the worst he could to another.
Later he admits to becoming immune to the horrors and fears from the Europeans because he had learned their culture almost as well as his own. Now the visions of the visions of them as spirits but as men like him. The master of this time was teaching him Christian values and ways as he seen them and explained that God would not love him for being ‘’wrong’’ things. With all this intellect that was taught to him and the freedom he had been so used to having made him very ‘’cocky’’. This would start the horrors back over again and they new ones were going to be much worse. The thought of his freedom spends him on another journey to seek it again just as he did when he was a boy hiding in the bushes waiting to go home.
Then he arrives at the new island of Montserrat, he uses a sentimental way to describe to of us the horror. So we shall feel it ourselves. He describes it as a ‘’fresh horror, that chilled his heart’’. A former slave brought back to the reality that he had lost. Although his fate is not as bad when he arrives as he imagined, but just the thought of losing what he had gained from the white people was worse than the descriptions is what he lost when be first left his country.
Then men from the West Indies are described like the Europeans he saw a mentioned earlier that took all the human dignity away from the slaves and had no remorse for the Negros. Their homes are in the worst conditions and they treat the pregnant women like a brute also. The neglect causes serious health conditions here. The narrorator refers to Mr. D, the passage in the bible of doing unto. Mr. D answers him by thoughts that his schemed worked to keep them under order. The narrorator seems to have a deeper understanding for the Christian doctrine than these people that are supposably teaching it to him and supplying him bibles throughout the story. These horror stories from the islands that the narrorator is telling us about are trying to appeal to our senses. Not just his pain and heartache at times, but for the other slaves that have been brutally beaten and tortured for non other than them. To add to the senses, the narrator gives us a sense of how he feels the slave trade has rewinded the natural rights of man that he has learned that all are supposed to have ‘’Such a tendency has the slave trade to debauch men’s minds and harden them to every feeling of humanity.’’ The narrorator suggests that this slave trade ‘’taints everything it touches’’. By taking away the rights of a man to give another one more is unmoral and hypercritical of all. He has been told was the way it should be.

1 Comments:

Blogger diabolicalkoala said...

You did good job on citing refernces from the story to support your interpretations.
I especially liked the comparison you made of Equiano's search for freedom and the time he was lost in forest as a child when he first escaped his captors, and the futility he felt being bound by his own fears. This is an example of symbolism I failed to notice and I am thankful that you brought our attention, for I feel it was quite relevant. Good job!
Steven.

8:44 AM  

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