The Horrors of a Slave Ship
They were treated brutally and were forced to do dangerous jobs. If orders were not followed, they were flogged unmercifully.
Later, they were separated as they served different masters. He later reunited with his sister when they had the same master. They cried of happiness as their mournful days were over; unfortunately, they were torn apart once again. His pain and anxiety was worse of what he had experienced after her fate. Equiano describes the many days he traveled and the frequent change of masters. He was sold back and forth in the West Indies and England.However, he came into a town called Tinmah in Africa.
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He then served a wealthy widow. Receiving many benefits as in eating with them and being dressed well, he forgot he was a slave and became adopted to the wealthy family. He was kidnapped again; however, this time, he arrived to a ship where slaves were being marketed. There were thousands of slaves chained under the deck as they were going to be shipped over the “Middle Passage” or across the Atlantic Ocean. The slaves suffocated as there was little room to even move or breathe.The filth and heat brought sickness to the people; therefore, they cried and groaned as they slowly died. Equiano preferred his former slavery instead of the situation he was living on the deck.
Not only were blacks treated brutally but also the white people that misunderstood orders and did them wrong. Slaves utilized the moment that the white people laid their eyes off them to jump off the ship into the ocean. Equiano envied their fate because they now did not worry about their mistreatment. As the slaves preferred death over living a life of pain, it made the white people angry and flogged them unmercifully.The white people were in need of holding slaves in order to sell and have them working; therefore, they tried to warn them to discourage them not to commit suicide or jump off the ship into the ocean. At last, they arrived on the island of Barbadoes where they were going to be marketed and put to work with many other African slaves. It was an island where Equiano could not believe his surroundings.
There were African slaves that spoke many other different languages. Another surprising thing Equiano saw was horseback riding which was unusual.In “The Horrors of a Slave Ship,” the writer tries to demonstrate the stress, horrors, fears, and sufferings of slave ship. With this article, the reader can comprehend how difficult it was to serve different masters and not being able to know when they were going to be sold again. With the detailed situations of hiding in the bushes to suffocating in an overcrowded deck, it gave the reader a sense of desperation. What authors try to do in articles based on slave ship is get their point across of the chaos in an African slave’s life. Probably few people knew the exact history of slave ship.
The slave ship genre used by authors is usually written to go back to the history and give readers in the present a picture of past events. My views about this article are that Equiano had suffered as much as other slaves. The horrors of being a slave are more than what a writer can explain. Being in the actual situation is catastrophic. Slave ship, the event that took place in history, is an event that marked the deaths of millions of innocent people. Innocent people were separated from their families just to work for other people who they did not even know.The thought of the innocent slaves preferring death instead of a life of misery tells me that the situation they were in was dreadful and only a waste.
I never thought being a slave was as much as this. I knew they suffered, but not as much as them preferring death over being alive. I can picture the situation as a horror scene as many slaves shrieked, groaned, and cried as they died of diseases or maybe of hopelessness. After I read this article, I’ve been interested in other stories about slave ship.The fact that Equiano bought his own freedom makes me realize that slaves having a position in liberty was not easy or given to anybody easily. It came to the moment in their lives where they lost hope in being happy which at some point in their lives, life was not taken seriously. Like Equiano, many slaves did not fight back or tried to escape.
There was no point in fighting for their lives. Either way, they would have to die and suffer. I believe that most of the slaves’ reason for their death was the loss of hope they had for their lives.This is a good article to get readers attention and open their eyes to be thankful for what they have which is freedom, food, and a family. None of the slaves could enjoy what we have. They spent most of their lives working and serving others than being close to their families. Overall, “The Horrors of a Slave Ship” have impacted readers and also me in a way that we can see more than just a daily workforce.
I know there are millions of other slaves than just Olaudah Equiano. To conclude, we all realize how intense the article “The Horrors of a Slave Ship” was as the author wrote such words to express these moments.