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The Divine Providence of Equiano Essay

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In the eighteenth century, innocent victims from native Africa were kidnapped from their homes, the only land they knew, and then taken away on boats to a new world. This new world forced them to become slaves, and crucially took away all their human rights. A survivor of the slave trade from the middle passage is Olaudah Equaino, and he accomplished to publish an autobiography of his life in a book titled, “Equiano’s Travels: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African.” Equiano suffered great oppression when he and his sister were kidnapped from their homeland, Ibo. Once he became accustomed to the European culture, he was taught of the Christian faith. This religion developed him into a believer of the fatalism of Providence, or guidance of human destiny by fate. Christianity has affected Equaino by the way he conducted his life, how he treated others, and found redemption through faith.
Once forced into slavery, Equiano was introduced to a master. He had to abide by his master’s rules, for as long as he was with him, if he wanted to continue living. Equiano could be considered as a privileged slave because his masters were also on his side. His master favored him and sent him to his sister-in-law, Miss Guerin, in Great Britain to learn to read. Equiano accounts for his favoritism when he wrote, “Sometimes when a white man take away my fish I go to my master, and he get me my right; and when my master by strength take away my fishes, what me must do? I can’t go to anybody to be righted; then…I must look up to God Mighty in the top for right” (65). Equiano also stated that when nepotism was not in his favor, he just looked to God for his rights.
While in Great Britain, he learned o...


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...h Equaino, and he asked Equaino why the white men on board swear, lie, and get drunk when they know what Equaino knows, but Equaino is the only one to not participate in those activities. Equaino responds with, “the reason was that they did not fear God, and that if anyone of them died so, they could not go to, or be happy with God” (128-129). Equiano truly believed in leading a life that he preached so that he could one day be united with God.

The belief of God in Equaino’s life has guided him to endure rough toils. The thought of God in his head dictates his actions and words. He never wanted to lie, and treated people as he would like to be treated.



Works Cited

Equiano, Olaudah, and Paul Edwards. Equiano's Travels: The
Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African.
Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc., 1996. Print.



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