The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano Review Questions
1) I believe that it sets the tone for his account, describes his attitude toward the book and gives an overall impression of Equiano himself. It shows his work is not meant merely for entertainment but for the purpose of promoting the inhumanity and torments of slavery.
a. What Equiano is saying is that the slave traders were so greedy that they didn’t think about the long term – just about the short term. In this case, what that means is that they packed too many slaves into the ships because they wanted to make as much money as possible. Because they did this, the living conditions for the slaves were terrible and many of them became sick. This was improvident because it didn’t really take into account how much money the slave traders would lose by having the slaves be in bad condition when the time came to sell them,or how much they’d lose by having slaves die along the way.
b. The white crew viewed the black slaves are a source of money, not as human beings.
c.The treatment of the slaves reveals that the captors do not value all human life equally. They feel it is okay for some humans to be bought and sold like property.
3) a. Equiano was very young and this caused him to think many of the things that happened on the voyage as magic. b. Slaves felt that their masters treated them unkindly, but there was not much to do to improve their situation as a slave. Realizing this, I think Equiano would have been thankful for what he had had and would appreciate it.
4) a. Some slaves jumped overboard to escape the ship. Unfortunately for them, the slave hunters sailed in shark infested waters, so this only brought upon their death.
b. They were flogged because they were meant to go down with the ship, not escape themselves.
5) Equiano traveled to London and became involved in the abolitionist movement. The movement had been particularly strong amongst Quakers, but was by then non-denominational. Equiano was Methodist, having been influenced by George Whitefield’s evangelism in the New World.
6) It is important for them to record their experiences so that others will have a better understand of what they’re going through and will be more motivated to help change things.