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Autor: anton • May 10, 2011 • 278 Words (2 Pages) • 1,309 Views
Equiano's narrative, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, was a tool for abolitionists because it gave an account of the horrors of slavery and the slave trade. Abolitionists would have been able to use his stories to prove to everyone that slavery is morally wrong. Most slaves were treated badly on their trans-Atlantic passage as well as on the plantation or other place they were sold to.
On their journey to the Americas slaves were packed into the ships as cargo would have been. Equiano wrote, "... we were all put under the deck...".Drawings of the slave ships included outlines of spaces for slaves that were just big enough for an average person. They packed as many people in to the hull of those ships as they possibly could.
Conditions on the ship were horrible; people died during the voyage and were left below so the smell was terrible. Equiano resented the smell, "The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time..."
When they landed, Equiano was scared that he would be eaten, probably because he was so abused on his passage and cannibalism was around in Africa. He said, "... [They] pointed to the land...We thought by this, we should be eaten by these ugly men..." Equiano and the other slaves were scared for their lives because of these people.
Equiano's story of the middle passage alone helped the slaves' and the abolitionists' case because it was a first hand account of the life of a slave. Secondhand accounts and fictional stories don't have the emotional effect of a personal narrative.