There is no question but that the attention devoted to characterizing the various slaveowners he had to contend with had the purpose of relating the truth that even good people were corrupted by the institution of slavery. In certain respects, it must be remembered that Equiano’s audience was likely ignorant of the horrors of the slave trade. His writing concerning the Middle Passage certainly must have raised the hackles of like-minded activists, but could only have served as high drama to the t...
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...table with it. His steadfast belief in predestination and his commitment to the eradication of slavery would have held more value.
The Interesting Narrative must be viewed foremost as a work of propaganda, and in this vein Equiano was undoubtedly qualified. Is it any wonder that Equiano found himself compelled to resort to fictions to tell portions of his story? No honest reader with any conception of the past can honestly doubt that Equiano was attempting to narrate the unspeakable. For the enslaved, trauma was a way of life, and the difficulty of piecing together a coherent, eloquent narrative from a litany of brutalities can only be supposed by those who are far more fortunate than Equiano deemed himself to be. To fetishize accuracy at the expense of a greater truth would be a far greater failing than whatever sins against academia Equiano might have committed.
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