This paper discusses and reviews the autobiography entitled, "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African,". It describes the storyline and the plot of the book and the discusses the writer's personal reactions to it. The paper then looks at how effective Equiano's narrative was as a from of propaganda to develop opposition to slavery.
Table of Contents:
The Book's Message about the Institution of Slavery and the Slave Trade
Surprising Aspects of Equiano's Account
Effectiveness of Equiano's Narrative as a Form of Propaganda Meant to Develop Opposition to Slavery
Editing Equiano's Account
From the Paper
"More than anything else, the book would have forced those far removed from the procurement of their slaves on a distant continent to face the ugly realities that paid for their source of labor. In the most developed and so-called civilized nations of the Western part of the world, treatment of slaves, while still atrocious by any moral standard, would likely have been much better, on the whole, than on the African continent."
"In retrospect, it is nothing less than astonishing that post-Enlightenment/post-Industrial Revolution men of education and societal distinction would ever have tolerated, much less partaken in the enslavement and life-long exploitation of fellow human beings. The justification most often suggested is that it is difficult, if not entirely unfair altogether, to judge social conventions of earlier times by modern ethical and humanitarian standards."