The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of Olauda...
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was one of the first widely-read slave narratives. Eight editions were printed during the author's lifetime, and it was translated into Dutch and German. The structure and rhetorical strategies of the book were influential and created a model for subsequent slave narratives. The different kinds of aspects and ideas in his narrative, such as travel, religion, and slavery, cause some readers to debate what kind of narrative his writing is: a slavery narrative, a spiritual narrative, or a travel narrative.
I BELIEVE it is difficult for those who publish their own memoirs to escape the imputation of vanity; nor is this Page 2the only disadvantage under which they labour: it is also their misfortune, that what is uncommon is rarely, if ever, believed, and what is obvious we are apt to turn from with disgust, and to charge the writer with impertinence. People generally think those memoirs only worthy to be read or remembered which abound in great or striking events, those, in short, which in a high degree excite either admiration or pity: all others they consign to contempt and oblivion. It is therefore, I confess, not a little hazardous in a private and obscure individual, and a stranger too, thus to solicit the indulgent attention of the public; especially when I own I offer here the history of neither a saint, a hero, nor a tyrant. I believe there are few events in my life, which have not happened to many: it is true the incidents of it are numerous; and, did I consider myself an European, Page 3I might say my sufferings were great: but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen, I regard myself as a particular favourite of Heaven, and acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life. If then the following narrative does not appear sufficiently interesting to engage general attention, let my motive be some excuse for its publication. I am not so foolishly vain as to expect from it either immortality or literary reputation. If it affords any satisfaction to my numerous friends, at whose request it has been written, or in the smallest degree promotes the interests of humanity, the ends for which it was undertaken will be fully attained, and every wish of my heart gratified. Let it therefore be remembered, that, in wishing to avoid censure, I do not aspire to praise.
We are almost a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets. Thus every great event, such as a triumphant return from battle, or other cause of public rejoicing is celebrated in public dances, which are accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion. The assembly is separated into four divisions, which dance either apart or in succession, and each with a character peculiar to itself. The first division contains the married men, who in their dances frequently exhibit seats of arms, and the representation of a battle. To these succeed the married women, who dance in the second division. The young men occupy the third; and the maidens the fourth. Page 11Each represents some interesting scene of real life, such as a great achievement, domestic employment, a pathetic story, or some rural sport; and as the subject is generally founded on some recent event, it is therefore ever new. This gives our dances a spirit and variety which I have scarcely seen elsewhere*. * When I was in Smyrna I have frequently seen the Greeks dance after this manner.
This very elegant Work commenced on the First of July, 1787, since which it has been regularly continued on the First Day of every succeeding Month.--In the numbers already published, which may now be had separately, or in sets, there are Forty-three Engravings, consisting of VIEWS in Bath, &c. &c. taken on the respective spots by MALTON; Ornamented and original scenes from SHAKSPEARE'S PLAYS; Animated and interesting subjects from moral tales and descriptive poetry; desgned on purpose for this Work by BURNEY, CORBOULD, RICHTER, and other Artists of acknowledged abilities; and PORTRAITS, drawn from the life, and richly ornamented by RYLEY, RICHTER, and COLLINGS.
The main idea behind The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is sharing Equiano's life story. He gives a detailed narrative about his childhood in a small Nigerian village, his kidnapping, his time in slavery, and his experiences after he won his freedom.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is Olaudah Equiano's autobiography. An autobiography is a person's life story told from their own perspective. The book, which was published in 1789, describes Equiano's life in slavery, beginning with his kidnapping by slave traders at age eleven. Equiano traveled extensively with his master, the captain of a British trading vessel, and was allowed to own minor trade exchanges. In 1766, he used his savings to purchase his freedom. He obtained a job working for a scientist in England, while also traveling as an abolitionist and public speaker. His autobiography is noted for its combination of literary forms--epistolary form, travel narrative, slave narrative, and religious meditation.
Olaudah Equiano was born in a small village in Northwestern Africa. He knew little to nothing about the Transatlantic slave trade before he and his sister were kidnapped and he was placed on a slave ship and taken to America. His narrative follows his journey to Europe, the West Indies, and eventually to freedom. The work is written in both third-person (he/she/they) and first-person (I/me), with Equiano verifying his claims with letters. The work is, therefore, epistolary, or letter-based. He traveled to many places during his life, and his work provides invaluable knowledge about the horrors of slavery in different areas of the world.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is Olaudah Equiano's autobiography. This particular autobiography (which is a person's life story told from their own perspective) combines various literary forms, including the epistolary form, or a story told through letters; the travel narrative, which describes the cultures visited during travels that lead to change within the narrator; the slave narrative, a type of memoir written by former slaves or stories about slavery from the perspective of the slave, usually through a lens of hope; and the religious meditation, which is a type of narrative that describes the author's spiritual trials and tribulations. These different forms allow the author to present his life in both first- and third-person points of view, appeal to readers' emotions, vary the tone, and portray the paradox of his life of privilege and suffering. 59ce067264