Olaudah Equiano

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Olaudah Equiano Olaudah Equiano " We are almost a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets. Every great event, such as a triumphant return from battle, or other cause of public rejoicing, is celebrated in public dances, which are accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion. The assembly is separated into four divisions, which dance either apart or in succession, and each with a character peculiar to itself. The first division contains the married men who in their dances frequently exhibit feats of arms, and the representation of a battle. To these succeed the married women who dance in the second division. The young men occupy the third; and the maidens the fourth. Each represents some interesting scene of real life, such as a great achievement, domestic employment, a pathetic story, or some rural sport. This gives our dances a spirit and variety which I have scarcely seen elsewhere." The central theme of The Classic Slave Narratives: The Life of Olaudah Equiano is obviously that the institution of slavery should be abolished. However, in addition to the central theme, Equiano indirectly provides the reader with various "sub-themes" in order to support the central theme and to eventually convince the reader to support his argument that the institution of slavery should be done away with wholly. One such "sub-theme" is the existence of a set way of life, traditions, and/or customs by which the Africans live. The above passage is one that supports this sub-theme. The tone, diction, and syntax of the passage are the literary elements used to indirectly persuade the reader to agree with Equiano's argument that slavery should come to an end. Equiano's decision to choose the humble approach is wise considering... ... middle of paper ... ...lture. In conclusion, the fact that slavery should be abolished is the central theme of this entire narrative. It is essentially the reason for the narrative being written in the first place. However, the underlying reason or sub-theme of this passage and the narrative in general is that Africans are, in fact, a civilized society with traditions and customs of their own. Equiano uses the literary elements diction, tone, and syntax to indirectly persuade the audience and to strengthen his argument. Though these elements are powerful in themselves, the passage and the narrative in general are also crafted with a humble approach. Humility is needed for this audience because they hold the power of ending or continuing slavery. Overall, Equiano presents his argument, not only in the above passage, but in the whole narrative, in a fashion that is to be respected.

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