Questions on Equiano

Here are a few questions for you to consider as you excerpts from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. We’ll touch on all of them at some point, but if there is something you that you really want to discuss be sure to bring it up or formulate your own questions!

1) How does Equiano construct himself as the narrator/author of the text? As he notes, what will be some of the difficulties in its reception and why may that be the case?

2) What are his motivations for writing the text in the first place? What does he hope to achieve through writing the text and through others’ reading of it?

3) How does he describe his life before he is kidnapped and enslaved? To what extent do his descriptions continue the discourse found, for example, in Montaigne? To what extent does he deviate from it?

4) How does he characterize his life as a slave under different masters? How do these men differ? How are they similar?

5) What is the role of Christianity in the narrative of his life? How does he describe his faith and his Christianity? How does he use this to demonstrate the internal contradictions of a Christian society that upholds slavery as an institution?

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