The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African

by Gustavas Vassa
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Examine how Equiano responded to the challenges he faced in the Middle Passage.

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The original question had to be edited down.  I think that Equiano clearly makes the case that mental fortitude and toughness were the necessary requirements to endure the conditions of the Middle Passage.  It is through his detail that the savagery of slave traders becomes evident. The traditional notion of the...

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The original question had to be edited down.  I think that Equiano clearly makes the case that mental fortitude and toughness were the necessary requirements to endure the conditions of the Middle Passage.  It is through his detail that the savagery of slave traders becomes evident. The traditional notion of the slave being a savage that required controlled is flipped here.  It is the slaveowner and slave trader whose savage condition is evident, as it would only be someone this savage that could wish to inflict so much suffering on other human beings.  Equiano makes it clear that his ability to endure and struggle through these difficult times as well as the challenging conditions of slavery are what enabled him to live.  At the same time, his narrative makes clear how slaves can envision and construct a better life for themselves once free from the slave condition.  It is in this call where Equiano's narrative becomes so compelling.  It forces the change that the abolitionist movement had been so insistent in demanding.  Equiano makes clear that the mental toughness required to survive the harsh conditions of the Middle Passage and, of slavery, in general justify the need for slavery to be abolished and for former slaves to reclaim their own lives as human beings.

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