Paper On Equiano's Autobio

636 WordsOct 25, 20093 Pages
Autobiography of Oladuh Equiano, or Gustavas Vassa, the African Oladuh Equiano gives a very detailed account of being kidnapped, enslaved, and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. Certain critics feel that Equiano’s autobiography contains what he had heard rather than what he has experienced. Other critics believe that because of the vividness of Equiano’s accounts that it must be personal experiences. Some of the dates are inaccurate and it is questioned whether Equiano was born in Africa or South Carolina. However, much of the autobiography is accurate and very detailed to where the account is factual. According to Equiano, he was born in 1745, and was eleven years old when kidnapped. He claims to arrive in Barbados around 1756 or 1757, and sold for a second time in 1754, so these years do not match up. Also a baptismal record was discovered, stating he was twelve in 1759, making him born in 1747, and seven years old when kidnapped. This information might lead one to believe that Equiano was not being honest about his account as a young child. However, it is very understandable how someone so young would have a hard time remember exact dates and years. This is because most humans do not store vivid memories of the past; rather they store bits and pieces and fill the rest in. Another issue is over records showing that he was born in North Carolina and not Africa. It is possible that what Equiano said was not understood by the people in America, as what happened to numerous immigrant situations in the United States. Vassa’s godmother even stated that he could not speak English when she met him, meaning he would not have been born and raised in the Americas. Also, his accounts in Africa are accurate. One example of this is Equiano knowing what social rank of people get tattoos. Many other events are accurate throughout

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