Starting equiano’s narrative and noticing his political agendas which we discussed in class last week (the advancement of African people, appealing to the white Europeans who are in power, etc.), I had some skepticism toward the authenticity of his narrative. I’m not trying to argue with the merit of his cause; fighting for an oppressed population is very noble and deserves recognition. It just seemed to me as if he was trying a bit too hard to gain respect in the eyes of the Europeans, and appeal to their sensibilities, instead of just telling a story.
Finishing this text though, I put my qualms aside and just took the story for what it was. A very interesting account of the life of a man who proves to be very resilient in terrible circumstances.
Equiano sees the oppression of African nations, and experiences first hand the cruelty of the middle passage toward slaves. He learns to cope with these cruelties on a personal level and work toward earning his freedom. Even while focusing his efforts on survival and self preservation, he has enough mental fortitude left to think about his people and the greater good. He learns English in order to document these experiences, in hopes that he can eventually save others from going through the same thing.