The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 5 Summary and Analysis

Equiano laments his "new slavery" and prays to God for some sort of salvation. After some time, he ascribes his new unfortunate circumstances to a test given him by God. His new master soon sets sail for the island of Montserrat, a place which has a reputation for slave auctions. Equiano is greeted with the new horror that he might be sold at auction. After months of hard labor involving loading and unloading ships, one day Equiano is sold, from Captain Doran to a man named Robert King, despite Equiano begging to be taken back to England. The small comfort is that Robert King is known as a kind and good man. King promises to take Equiano eventually back to Philadelphia (where King lives) and, because Equiano knows some arithmetic, make a clerk of him.

For the time being, Equiano works at rowing boats for King's merchant operations. He is paid better than most slaves, and King is among the kindest masters on the island. Equiano's travels around the islands allow him to see the brutal treatment of other slaves, including a slave whose leg is cut off for trying to run, a casual attitude about raping African girls, and pestilential living conditions. Equiano takes the opportunity to expose the hypocrisy of this cruelty being committed by Christian men, whose religion teaches them quite the opposite. Equiano also calls out the slave codes governing Montserrat and the West Indies in general as savage and barbaric. Additionally, slave auctions have the effect of separating families, and it has affected Equiano deeply to see families torn apart in this manner.

This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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