The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African Questions and Answers
by Gustavas Vassa

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In The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, how did Equiano understand identity, both his own identities and the identities of others he encountered?

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The identity of both Olaudah Equiano himself and other blacks that he comes across is well worth exploring further. The narrator is unflinching and unswerving in the way that he describes the horrors of slavery, but through this he insists upon maintaining the humanity of those slaves. For example, when he describes the horrendous Middle Passage, which is of course one of the most famous sections of this account, he evokes the horror of the conditions that slaves had to endure but refers to the slaves as men, women and children, rather than merely "slaves" or any other form of...

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