The Life of Olaudah Equiano
This assignment is based on the reading “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.” You must have read the whole thing and comprehended it. You then had to respond to two questions in depth. I will attach the reading as a PDF here. For this assignment further, you must reply to student response to both of the questions. I will paste the student response below. Upon responding, in the paragraph reply, YOU MUST INCORPORATE AT LEAST two of the following in your reply: 1. Expands or clarifies a point made in your classmate’s response 2. Offers an additional argument/provides evidence to support a position taken 3. Provides an informed counterview (with textual support) on a point where your analysis of the text may differ from your classmate’s 4. Provides detailed informed/constructive suggestions Start with something like “I agree!..” Here is the student response to both questions Equiano associates his homeland in Africa with the mannerisms, customs, and language he grew up within his neighbourhood which he first compares the Europeans to upon his encounter with them. He states, “I was very much struck with this difference, especially when I came among a people who did not circumcise … fought with their fists among themselves. Their women were not so modest as ours, for they ate, and drank, and slept with their men. But above all, I was amazed to see no sacrifices or offerings among them” (4). In this experience, he is comparing the way Europeans function in their society which is odd to him. These ways allude to religion, like “no sacrifices or offerings” along with circumcision which is often in religious instances. He also talks about the nature of the people themselves, they are violent in fighting with their fists and women aren’t as modest. Equiano shows how the specific values in his homeland such as people being more civil and women being modest, along with their religious beliefs, were important. These questions that Equiano concludes at the end of his chapter are rhetorical as he emphasizes the hypocrisy that exists in the use of slavery. He begins asking, “Learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you?” (12). He speaks on how religious is usually claimed to be the reason oppressors are able to dominate over these slaves, Equiano is using the words they preach and states that their actions don’t align. He goes on to ask the questions, “Are the dearest friends and relations, now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred, still to be parted from each other…mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives?” (12). They can be interpreted as him arguing that families shouldn’t be separated and how twisted it is to take advantage of these slaves when they are most vulnerable in this helpless state. Through suffering and sorrow, they will be willing to do anything, and he understands this deeply through the sibling relationship he had with his own sister. 248351 a few seconds ago. The first paragraph you see answers this question – #1: What specific values does Equiano associate with his homeland in Africa? How are these values contrasted during his encounters with the Europeans? For example, consider his life in Africa in contrast to his experiences/witnessing events on the slave ship and/or the slave market in Barbados. The second paragraph answers this question — #2: Equiano concludes his chapter with appeals to his audience in the form of rhetorical questions. Discuss how these questions work with the narrative to establish an argument against slavery.
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