Homework Help

Olaudah Equiano wrote his autobiography to expose horrors of slavery. How well does he...

user profile pic

eddiemiza | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 20, 2009 at 12:12 PM via web

dislike 0 like

Olaudah Equiano wrote his autobiography to expose horrors of slavery. How well does he fulfill his purpose.

you must give and explain specific examples.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 20, 2009 at 8:42 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

When the Age of Exploration brought about riches, Triangular Trade, exports, and a greater sense of prosperity to the "Western" world, there had been few other times when the greatness of nations and individuals had been so exalted.  Nations hoisted sails to conquer the world, find buried treasure, and etch their name in immortality.  It only came to pass that so much of this glory and supposed honor of country had come about as the result of the violation of others.  Enslavement, subjugation, and the institution of slavery prospered under such conditions.  Equiano's narrative accomplishes the purpose of arousing the moral consciousness of the reader into a domain of outrage at such practices.  Throughout the narrative, we see a description of pre- slavery life.  This is not the depiction of savagery or lawlessness, but rather a life that was lived with its own sense of purpose, when a flock of locusts represented the largest of difficulties.  Such a notion of existence is obliterated as slavery comes to Olaudah's village.  The description of his family being enslaved,  of being thrown into a sack, separated from his sister, the voyage on the slave ship all go to great lengths in fulfilling the purpose of the narrative, of proving the horrors of slavery.  The driving force of the narrative is to speak to others about the dehumanizing and cruel practice of slavery in such vivid detail that it cannot be dismissed or ignored.  The narrative also strives to establish purpose to Equiano's life, for if his story can provoke individuals into preventing the practice of human trafficking for profit, then his experience will have relevancy for others.  In both domains, the narrative has accomplished its purpose, for no one can deny its authenticity, and its transformative notion of how progress did not result without severe and drastic cost.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes