Comparing Mungo Park And Olauda Equiano

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Beginning in the late 15th and 16th centuries, slave trade became quite popular in the slaves’ home country of Africa, where they were strictly imprisoned and horribly mistreated, as represented by the 18th century writings of Mungo Park and Olauda Equiano. Mungo Park was a Scottish explorer who voyaged to Africa’s interior. During his visit, Park witnessed the African slave trade in action. His accounts led him to produce Travels to the Interior Districts of Africa. In his writings Park illustrated his first hand observations of the intense security and restrictions placed upon the African slaves. As many as four slaves would be changed together by the neck, and each individual was cuffed at both the wrists and ankles by fetters (Ch. …show more content…
After many years of cruel treatment and being passed from one master to the next, Equiano bought his own freedom and wrote The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African to express his experiences as an African slave and promote antislavery. When he was kidnapped, his sister had been taken as well to be sold as a slave. They were each sold to separate owners, but relentlessly begged to stay together. Unfortunately they made no impact and were soon ripped apart (Ch. 1, C2, The American Spirit). This drastic act left Equiano feeling stunned, shaken, and disheartened. Here he expressed his deep sorrows as he explained how he “cried and grieved…for several days.” Afterwards he was sold from one master to the next until he wound up on a ship departing to Barbados. Aboard the ship Equiano came across many other slaves in his same situation. On the ship he trusted no one except for the other slaves, not knowing what the white people would do to him. He was quite anxious about the new land as well. Equiano was so overcome with fear that it took over his body and caused him to collapse (Ch. 1, C2, The American Spirit). He began to worry once more after the ship arrived in Barbados and he viewed the crowds of wild people waiting to purchase the slaves. He and the slaves trembled greatly as they saw the crowd of merchants and believed they …show more content…
In their writings, both authors included the harsh brutalities of the African slave owners. They were both also able to include the emotions of a slave as they were dealing with the anxiety of being clueless toward their future. However, Park’s observations were more focused upon the treatment of the slaves and the reason behind such treatment, while Equiano’s writings focused more on his experience and emotions as a slave. Equiano is more emotional in his work while Park is more practical. Each writer was able to share his insights on the African slave trade, enlightening their readers about the issues and cruelties of

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