Strategies of Emancipation in Olaudah Equiano's 'The Interesting Narrative and Mary Prince's 'The History of Mary Prince' by Meike Kohl

Strategies of Emancipation in Olaudah Equiano's 'The Interesting Narrative and Mary Prince's 'The…

byMeike Kohl

Kobo ebook | April 6, 2007

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Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Münster, 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: As representatives of Early Black Literature, two texts have entered the canon of university courses lately: Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of Olaudah Equiano Or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written By Himself, which was published in 1794, and Mary Prince's The History Of Mary Prince. A West Indian Slave which was first published in 1831. Both at their time have been drawing the attention of the British public to the cause of abolition and have ultimately been a means to finally establish the legal rights of the enslaved. This essay attempts to establish a connexion between the individual strategies of emancipation as utilised by the two individuals in their struggle for freedom, and the way these strategies are reflected on a literary level, that is the use of language and of narrative genres. It will be examined in how far Equiano and Prince act as agents of a free will and present themselves as such, with a focus an the means by which this is done. In a second step, the literary level will be analysed, that is the use of narrative strategies and language in both texts with regard to popular literary genres in eighteenth century literature. The approach Equiano chooses on his way to becoming a free individual can be described as an indirect tactic of adapting to a new culture. It is reflected on the literary level, as well as Prince's direct and outspoken attempts at emancipation. The outcomes of both authors' endeavours differ greatly, and so do their strategies and literary uses. The Webster Dictionary defines emancipation as the act of setting free from the power of another, from slavery, subjection, dependence, or controlling influence; also, the state of being thus set free; the act or process of emancipation, or the state thereby achieved; liberation; as, the emancipation of slaves; the emancipation of minors; the emancipation of a person from prejudices; the emancipation of the mind from superstition; the emancipation of a nation from tyranny or subjection. In this essay, 'strategies of emancipation' will be defined as strategies being followed consciously or unconsciously to achieve a state of independence, legally and socially. The term 'agency' signifies an active role of the protagonist which is not restricted or forced upon by others.

Title:Strategies of Emancipation in Olaudah Equiano's 'The Interesting Narrative and Mary Prince's 'The…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:April 6, 2007Publisher:GRIN VerlagLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638631990

ISBN - 13:9783638631990