An exploration of the treatment of African and Indian slaves, with reference to two historical works.
This paper uses first hand accounts to explore the treatment of slaves in America. It reviews the autobiographical book “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Gustavius Vassa,” by Olaudah Equiano by giving a synopsis of Equiano’s story. It begins with his kidnapping and journey on a slave ship and explores some of the harsh treatments of and difficult experiences for the slaves. The paper then turns to look at the Spaniards’ treatment of the Indian slaves in the West Indies, with reference to the historical work “Apologetic History of the Indies,” by Bartolome de las Casas.
“Olaudah Equiano, in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Gustavius Vassa, describes this about himself and the other atrocities, after being kidnapped that fateful day, which had happened to him and other slaves. Not long after he and his sister were kidnapped, he was separated from his sister and forced to endure life as a slave alone. Gustavius Vassa and Olaudah Equiano were one in the same person. Gustavius Vassa was a slave name given to him by one of his owners. Individuality was not an option that a slave had and the names of the blacks were not important to the white world. Slaves had to live with the names that they were given. However, this is not the worst that they had to endure according to Equiano.”
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