Olaudah Equiano Rhetorical Analysis

Words: 550
Pages: 3

Olaudah Equiano, an African American, was born in Nigeria. At age 11, he was captured and sold as a slave. Equiano was one of the many slaves that traveled to the Americas known as the Middle Passage. Equiano uses three main literary devices in his personal narrative to describe his journey as a slave. To begin, the author evidently uses first-person point of view with his use of first-person pronouns; it allows the reader to understand Equiano’s behavior. Equiano states, “I was immediately handled, and tossed up to see if I were sound, by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me”. The readers are able to feel his fear of the Europeans when he refers to “a world of bad spirits” and his belief “they were going to kill” (him). Moreover, it helps the reader recognize his bad situation when he mentions he was “handled” and “tossed” by the Europeans like he was an object and not a human being. In the same way, the author’s clear use of visually descriptive language in his narrative of his personal experience appeals to the five senses, enabling the reader to picture what the author is conveying. When the ship holding all the cargo was ready to …show more content…
When Equiano “looked round the ship”, he remembered he saw a diverse amount of black people grouped together and noticed “everyone of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow (and he) was quite overpowered with horror and anguish”. The special word he used was countenanced, meaning an appearance, especially the expression of the face. This word suggests to the reader that the slaves, including Equiano, looked like they were all in a state of depression and worry for the future while on the boat ride to the Americas and all they could really do is try to sleep off their