The Brutal Conditions of Slavery

Essay by 123showtimeCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2002

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Oppression and cruelty; just two of the many words used to describe slavery. However, no words can be used to truly illustrate the hardships and tough times that the slaves went through. In the time of slavery, innocent people were taken from their homes and separated from their families to be sold as workers to other people around the world. They did not just work, but in fact, they were restrained and held captive while being forced to work in terrible and unsuitable conditions. In particular, there was a slave by the name of Olaudah Equiano, who wrote a personal narrative on his own experiences during slavery. In his writings, he specifically highlighted the oppression and cruelty in his own life and in other peoples as well. The point of his narrative was to try to turn the English public against slavery. Based on this narrative, I can now give a clear opposition and standpoint against slavery because of the way that Equiano exemplified what slavery was really like.

The idea of taking many people from their homelands and bringing them to a foreign place seems a bit overwhelming. This seems like an impossible thing to do when looked at through the slaves' point of view. During the times of slavery, the ships were not as advanced as they are now. The slaves were put in these ships and packed into rooms that were not made to accommodate that many people. Equiano writes, "The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely enough room to turn himself, almost suffocated us" (Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, 56). This was how the slaves were kept when they were...