The Classic Slave Narratives give a fascinating, not to mention horrifying, account of the lives of four different slaves: Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince, Fredrick Douglass, and Linda Brent. These slave narratives tell of four African Americans, who went through very troubling times. The lives of these slaves are all similar in one way or another, but are also very different and unique. These accounts help people to realize what the slaves went through, and how hard life actually was for them.
Olaudah Equiano was the only African American of the four that was actually born free. One day while playing with his sister, they both were kidnapped, and separated. He was eventually brought onto a slave ship, and sold to a captain. I think that Olaudah being free before he was a slave helped him in obtaining his freedom. Because he was originally a free man, he knew what it was like, and this fueled his hunger more to be free, and to work harder at purchasing his freedom.
Olaudah didn't have too hard of a life, as far as physical abuse anyway. For the most part of his life he was a sailor on his master's ship. Through this, he learned to speak English, and also navigation from his captain, which helped in capturing his freedom. In this way, he could communicate well and be accepted better with others. Other than learning navigation, his being a sailor had yet another great advantage: to earn him money to gain his freedom, although this had disadvantages. Olaudah was able to do some trading while being a sailor, and in doing this, he was able to save enough up to purchase his freedom. But, by being a slave, he was sometimes harassed and taken advantage of. He tells of a gentleman who bought some rum from him. "...
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... off of this to get their point across. These stories kind of worked as evidence of how horrible slavery really was.
Frederick Douglass was the only former-slave to join the abolitionists, which very much surprised me. I would think that they would all try to kill slavery for what it did to them. But, in one way or another, all of them did help in the abolitionist movement by writing stories for all to see. Because people became aware of slavery in this way, they contributed a great deal to the movement.
All four of these slave narratives tell of a great struggle against slavery and the capturing of their freedom. All of these slaves have very different tales of their trying times during their lives. All of them told their stories to let people know of their hardships, and how bad slavery really is. In this they were helpful with getting slavery abolished.
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