Freedom and Slavery in the Colonial Period Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analytical essay exploring the notion of freedom and slavery in the colonial period.
# 150199 | 2,187 words | 6 sources | APA | 2012 | US


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Description:

This essay is an analytical piece that explores the notions of freedom and slavery in the colonial time period. Using two main pieces of literature, Mary Rowlandson's "The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson" and "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African" by Olaudah Equiano, the writer presents themes that are concurrent from each piece. Using these themes, the writer explores what it means to be a slave, how the mind is not free in states of slavery, and the difference of perspectives from the narratives of captivity.

Outline:
Journey towards Freedom of Mind: Understanding the Worldviews of Mary Rowlandson, Captive, and Olaudah Equiano, Slave
Role of Christianity in Influencing Rowlandson's Prejudiced Worldview of Native Americans and Equiano's Favorable Perception of the 'White Man'
Achieving Freedom of Mind: Rowlandson's 'Orthodoxic' versus Equiano's Fluid World Views

From the Paper:

"This theme of different worldviews and realities, and the role that Christianity played in influencing these worldviews in the lives of Puritan Americans and African slaves, are manifested in the works of Mary Rowlandson and Olaudah Equiano, respectively. Mary Rowlandson's The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson, written in 1682, provides a detailed description of her one-year experience as a captive of native Americans. Olaudah Equiano, meanwhile, wrote The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, in 1789. The narrative reflected the "journey" of Equiano from being an African slave to being an educated individual, of which Christianity played a significant role.
"Applying these texts in the context of this paper's discussion, the researcher posits that Rowlandson's descriptions of the life she lived with native Americans--that is, her prejudiced worldview of native Americans--is influenced by orthodoxy or by her being a Puritan American. Similarly, Equiano's depiction of his life in Africa and his eventual life as an educated freeman is also influenced in his 'indoctrination' of leading an orthodox life, having been educated under the guidance of Christianity as a religion. In addition to the theme of orthodoxy as influential to the authors' worldview in creating their narratives, this paper also argues that Rowlandson's journey towards opening up her mind to understanding the native American worldview has been 'prevented' because of her strong belief and faith in Christianity. Equiano, meanwhile, allowed himself to take the journey towards freedom of mind by subscribing himself to a new belief system, that of orthodoxy and Christianity."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bozeman, T. (2003). "Interstices, hybridity, and identity: Olaudah Equiano and the discourse of the African slave trade." Studies in Literary Imagination, Vol. 36, No. 2.
  • Burnham, M. (1993). "The journey between: liminality and dialogism in Mary White Rowlandson's captivity narrative." Early American Literature, Vol. 28.
  • Carrigan, A. (2006). "Negotiating personal identity and cultural memory in Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative." Wasafiri, Vol. 21, No. 2.
  • Derounian, K. (1987). "Puritan orthodoxy and the "survivor syndrome" in Mary Rowlandson's Indian captivity narrative." Early American Literature, Vol. 22.
  • Equiano, O. (1789). E-book, "The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African." Nuvision Publications. 2007.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Freedom and Slavery in the Colonial Period (2012, January 29) Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/freedom-and-slavery-in-the-colonial-period-150199/

MLA Format

"Freedom and Slavery in the Colonial Period" 29 January 2012. Web. 23 May. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/freedom-and-slavery-in-the-colonial-period-150199/>

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