For our final project, I’m working on a paper contrasting themes from Equiano’s Interesting Narrative with other literature of the 18th Century and themes discussed in our class.
My main argument right now is that the idea of sincerity and authorship for Equiano’s narrative lines up with the text of Robinson Crusoe. In our class discussions, we’ve spent some time on both texts (separately though) discussing how the characters/authors use tactics to increase their credibility. From the frontispiece and introduction of Equiano, for instance, he takes several interesting angles to make himself stand out and to gain the audience’s respect and good will. When we talked about Crusoe in class, we discussed how the narrative presents him as an “every man”, and how the first person perspective implies a factual account (even when it is a fictional novel).
This section I can write partially as a research paper and partially as a opinion/commentary on themes from our class. I’ve found lots of analyses of both Equiano and Crusoe in the library databases, so I should be able to pull some good quotes for my arguments. Then I can flesh out these ideas, and use them to contrast the two texts, or examine the biographical narrative genre as a whole. Right now I’m just trying to sift through different authors’ works to find the most interesting arguments.
If anyone has feedback on my essay ideas, or about the implications of biographical narratives in general, I’d love to hear it.