8 January 2018
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Author and anti-slavery activist, Olaudah Equiano, explains how terrifying it was to
board an over crowded slave ship to the new land. Equiano’s purpose is to display the unjust acts
by slave owners in order to create a feeling of sorrow in the emotions of the reader. He adopts an
emotional tone in order to reach out to the many future generations.
Equiano begins by informing the reader about his lack of trust towards “white men with
horrible looks, red faces, and loose hair.” He pleads to the compassionate emotions of the
reader by “expressing dejection and sorrow.” He joins in this time of terror and sorrow among
the slaves on the ship by describing his “present situation, which was filled with horrors of every
kind,” and how they have “gotten into a world of bad spirits.” The flooding of emotions
described by Equiano conveys an unhappy tone that lets the white people know how poorly they
have been treating slaves.
Equiano continues his narrative by expressing his despair and hopelessness for him and
the other slaves and how they “now wished for the last friend, death.” He appeals to the