Slave Autobiography The Life of Olaudah Equiano
Discussion of the character of African slave Equiano and his contradictions.
This paper looks at an autobiography of a slave that was written in the 18th Century and analyzes the character of the writer, justifying his contradictory nature.
“The genre of autobiography is the primary source to the character of an individual, especially for one such as The Life of Olaudah Equiano that presents the genuine life story of an African slave with minimal sentimentalizing or fabricating of incidents. However, Equiano’s beliefs and behavior are often paradoxical and incoherent, leaving the reader to rationalize these dilemmas themselves. When we see that the European white culture, and not Equiano’s personality, is the main culprit for these contradictions, we realize how the influential masterpiece must have caused a rethink among the late-18th Century European audience.”