The 's Representation Of The Country And Its People Essay

The 's Representation Of The Country And Its People Essay

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Similar to Day and Bicknell’s approach to educating readers on Africa and its people, Equiano’s representation of Africa, and by association Africans, in his Narrative, portrays a more humanised and cultured representation of the country and its people. George Boulukos argues that ‘ Equiano is notable for his ‘strikingly positive’ portrayal of Africa. It is arguable Defoe’s totally barren Africa which represents the most uncommon vision. Even Snelgrave, who set in motion many of the central pro-slaver arguments of the late century, represented West Africa as having a fairly stable and complex system of government.’ For instance, Equiano begins his narrative by introducing Africa as a country divided into several ‘kingdoms,’ instantly rendering the idea of Africa being uncivilised moot. His choice of words are carefully selected to construct a regal image of Africa and its people rather than the common perception of Africa being inhabited by savages and barbarians. Like Day and Bicknell’s subversion of society’s ideas concerning Africa and its people, Equiano’s description affirms that Africans do possess the higher intellectual powers granted to all human beings, and also undermines the idea of Africa being a primitive space. Moreover, Equiano describes a number of cultural rituals and traditions that show Africans as complex and original people instead of the stereotypical ignorant and benighted individuals they were assumed to be by eighteenth-century society. However, instead of adopting the trope of noble warriors like Day and Bicknell do in their poem, Equiano instead proclaims Africa as ‘a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets,’ choosing to equate the idea of Africa as a land of artists rather than fighters. By drawing a c...


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...bsequent editions as well as Equiano’s succeeding nine. As such indicates, their arguments must have affected readers to the point of demanding more publications from the authors. The authors used this market to further educate those of the need for the abolition of slavery. However, where as Equiano primarily dedicates his text toward the abolition of slavery by calling out the wrongdoings of the trade and exposing the vile actions he himself and his brethren were forced to suffer through, Day and Bicknell need subsequent editions of their poem in order to directly address the wrongdoings of the government and call for a halt to the slave trade and slavery overall. Ultimately, both works show the power of sentimental rhetoric during a time in which sentimentality acknowledged common humanity and united people of different race, religion, region, ethnicity or class.

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