In his narrative, Equiano meets all of the criteria that are used to define a captivity narrative from the 17th and 18th centuries. The most basic criterion of a captivity narrative is that an individual goes through three distinct periods: the period of capture, the period of captivity, and the period of restoration. Looking at Equiano’s narrative as an outline, it is clear that each requisite part is present. Equiano’s period of capture begins at the age of ...
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...the evils of his enslavers would have alienated the people whom he was trying to influence. Instead, by recognizing the virtues that the white man possesses despite everything that Equiano witnesses, he appears to be magnanimous and noble and he is able to bring the white man to his cause.
Even though Equiano’s slave narrative had a vastly different purpose from captivity narratives such as Rowlandson’s, it was, nonetheless, the perfect medium in which to introduce himself and his story to the Colonialists. By choosing the captivity narrative as his format, he, as the narrator, was thrust into the role of the hero while those that held him captive would be perceived as the villains. By choosing the captivity narrative, Equiano launched an entire new genre of narration whose sole purpose was to help combat and inform on the evils of slavery, the slave narrative.
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