Argument Against Slavery In Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative

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Abolitionists in 18th century Britain had to combat many incorrect stereotypes and inappropriate justifications for the enslavement of Africans. To create an effective argument against slavery, writers had to counter these preconceptions in subtle and irrefutable ways. For instance, Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative uses particular language, punctuation, and repetition to explicate his experience, garnering sympathy and disgust for African slaves’ plight, while remaining comprehensible and inoffensive to a white audience. Thus, his subtle rhetorical techniques relate Equiano and Africans to his audience while critiquing their treatment of slavery, accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of proving Africans should not be enslaved.…show more content…
Equiano carefully crafts his words to show rational fear forming an argument instead of a horror story. He makes it clear that he is only afraid due to the brutality the men show, not because he is to work, or because he is frightened of the men themselves. QUOTES. In this sentence, Equiano both continues to refute the notion of Africans as savages and demonstrates their work ethic. This sentence appeals himself and his argument to the audience. He does not condemn Europeans for their brutality towards Africans, nor explain it graphically. The manner in which he expresses European savageness in this excerpt is not off-putting, yet still showcases its incorrectness. Additionally, by appearing aghast at their behaviour, Equiano makes it clear Africans are not accustomed to such actions and are not the beasts Europe sees them as. Ultimately through careful selection of words, he is able to argue against slavery without being accusatory and combats African…show more content…
Equiano seemingly compliments the white men for their technology and responds with repeated wonder. This facilitates the audience to feel more open and comfortable to a discussion of their faults because they are lauded for their technological accomplishments. Meanwhile, Equiano praises them with terms, which could have negative connotations. The men are juxtaposed with dark magic and therefore evil. Dark magic manipulates nature for personal gain; very similar to the slave trade. However, Equiano does not directly attack these men or his audience. He instead repeats these subtle connections throughout his narrative, creating an astute defence of

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