One of the many themes I found to be quite interesting in this piece was the theme of identity. As a slave, Equiano is not considered a human being. To others, he is considered a piece of property. By being considered a piece of property, he technically has no identity, and even if he does, it does not mean much to others, whether they are in the same situation as him or not. He tries hard to discover who he is, and to make an identity for himself, but it is pretty much impossible due to the fact that he is a slave. He always wanted to form an identity for himself, but slavery had limited him from being able to do so. Once he is freed, he is finally able to start his journey of self discovery and is able to start to form an identity for himself. He can actually make decisions of his own, and do the things he wants to do, rather than having to listen to someone else tell him what to do, and have to do things he would never want to. He could choose what he wanted to do for work, rather than it be chosen for him. He was able to convert to the religion he wanted, that being Christianity, and could start to define himself within that religion, and on top of that, he was able to be free and do much more with himself than he was before. It really amazes me how someone can go from having no rights, no freedom, and basically no identity at all, to someone who fully finds themself, is successful, and has a strong identity. He did not let his past define him, and he continued on. Instead of letting his past define him, he let it strengthen him, and encourage him to move on to the better. He strived to be successful, and to make an identity for himself, unlike he could before. Nothing could get in his way! I have always found identity to be a powerful theme in different pieces, and it is extremely powerful in this one. Something I always tell myself is that you can not be happy or truly live as yourself if you can not do what you want to do, whether it is with yourself, your work, things you create, or anything really. It is not enjoyable to live for others and do the things they want you to do, or to be who they want you to be. It is important to be yourself because you want to be that way not because others want you to be, and the sad thing is is that Equiano did not even have the choice to live for himself at first, like many of us have the choice of doing today. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s