Student guide: excerpt from the life of olaudah equiano about the author



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Slave Narrative/ (p.69) Equiano says that when he refused to eat, one member of the crew held

Point of View him “fast by the hands, and laid [him] across, [he thinks] the windlass

and tied [his] feet, while the other flogged [him] severely. How does

hearing about this incident from the slave’s point of view instead of

one of the crewmen’s affect your perception of it?


Seeing it through the slave’s eyes captures the experience vividly. It is

much more powerful hearing this first-hand than reading it in the form

of a fact or statistic.
Big Idea/ (p.69) What kind of mood does Equiano create for the reader at the end of

Mood this page when, even after being told that he was being brought to the white man’s country to work, he said, “but still I feared I should be put to death, the white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner.”
He creates a mood of confusion, fear and despair by describing how he felt. He shows the confusion of the situation and the horror of being held captive by cruel strangers.
Big Idea (p.70) Why would Equiano have included the description of the white man who was flogged and then thrown overboard by the other white men (top of first column)?
He is showing the brutality of the white people on the ship. It reveals that they were cruel to each other, not just the Africans, which suggests that they have no regard for people in general.
Slave Narrative (p.71) What seems illogical about the reasons shy the crew punishes the Africans?
Earlier, Equiano was beaten for not eating. Now people are being

beaten for trying to eat.
Slave Narrative (p.72) The end of the narrative excerpt changes from Equiano’s first-person account to a direct address, appealing to the white crewmen. Why does he make this change?
He is appealing to the white men’s own religious beliefs by quoting the

Bible, to emphasize the importance of abolishing slavery.



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