The Sense Of Identity In The Story Of Olaudah Equiano

1378 Words 6 Pages
In the year of 1758 an eleven-year-old boy named Olaudah Equiano was one of millions of Africans to be kidnapped from his homeland and sold into slavery. Equiano was forced to leave behind and forget his Ibo religion, his family, and anything else that he once knew. This young boy was then forced aboard a ship sailing towards a new land where he and hundreds of others were crammed into the vessel as if they were cargo. On this voyage these people were first stripped of their basic human rights and treated as if they were cattle. During this time Olaudah Equiano as well as all the others was kept in ignorance of what was to become of their lives. Only exposed to mistreatment and depravity, Equiano and countless others lost a sense of identity …show more content…
As an African and a slave, Equiano had no identity. He had no control over his movements, his property, or even his own name. By the end of his narrative, it would appear that he had assured an identity that was truly his own. Once Equiano was a freeman, he did his best to fashion himself a true identity and discover a true sense of who he was. He had the ability to make his own decisions regarding what he done or what he strived for. He proved his ability and worth at seamanship and obtained a respect from those around him. He resisted oppression to his best ability and presented himself as a man, a British citizen, and a Christian. He straddled his two different worlds in the best way that he could during a time that was determined to reinforce boundaries in areas of religion, race and gender. Equiano traveled the world, but never was able to make a voyage back to Africa. Throughout the hardships of his life, Equiano proved to himself and others to be highly intelligent and capable to persevere. He learned valuable skills that helped him to live successfully as a freeman. Had he voyaged to the America’s to live, his marketable skills would have been welcomed. He lived his life once freed in Europe as a hairstylist. Equiano would identify as both English and an African. Equiano identified with British Culture, but was always fully aware of his African culture. He has a complicated relationship with his adopted homeland because it is the same country that imprisoned him. However, Olaudah Equiano found himself and his own unique

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