Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equino Written by: Olaudah Equiano (1789)
What were Equiano’s impression of the white men on the ship and their treatment of the slaves? How does this treatment reflect the slave traders’ concerns?
The ship Equiano ended up on was a gruesome terrifying slave and cargo ship. Equiano describes the white men that were on the ship and how the slaves were treated. He goes into detail as to why he felt the way he did and about the white men on the ship. He tells a story of how the treatment of the slaves on the ship was horrifying. He knew that at any moment he could be dead. This story really brings up how the treatment of the slaves reflected the slave traders concerns. These slaves were sick, weak and near death.
When Equiano was tossed onto the ship he was terrified. He believed that he was going to be killed. He described the white men as red faced and long haired, with a different complexion and a different language he had never heard of. These white men were extremely terrifying to Equiano. He mentioned the word ‘savage’ to describe the white men. They would punish whoever they wanted, whenever they wanted. After cargo was on the ship, the white men put the slaves under deck so that they would not see how the white men handled the vessels. They had total control over the ship. Not only were the white men cruel to the slaves, but to other white men on board as well.
Equiano described the treatment of the slaves as brutal cruelty. On the ship slaves were chained and had expressions of sorrow and dispirited. They did not look like they wanted to be on that ship, nor did it look like they wanted to live. Equiano was put down under the decks and begins to tell how the smell was so gruesome. It affected the slaves’ appetites and made them not want to eat. Unfortunately, if the slaves did not eat, they were punished and beaten badly. Slaves would rather jump ship than...
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