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Compare and Contrast Readings Essay

You have suffered before as I have suffered, maybe not exactly as me, but you have experienced a type of suffering. Mary Rowlandson shows us what suffering is in her book called “ A Narrative of the Captivity,” by creating a character who loses her six year old child due to an attack in her town Lancaster and constantly being moved. Another author, Olaudah Equiano, writes a story about another type of suffering in his book “ The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,” by telling readers about him being kidnapped directly from his home and being brought into slavery. By reading these excerpts readers can see different types of suffering and how the characters handle them. “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” articulates suffering better because there are events that most people would know about and tells how people around him are dealing with the changes.

Equiano’s narrative takes place in the 1800s, when slavery started to become popular. He talks of his self becoming a slave when he was just a kid. After, serving as a slave for different people in Africa, being detached from his family, and getting shipped off to stay a slave but in a fortune country, he did not become belligerent. “I did not know what this could mean, and indeed I thought these people were full of nothing but magical arts,” (Equiano 59). Equiano thinking the men that are about to enslave him are full of magic proves how young he is, too young to be a slave. A child being a slave for the rest of his or her life is a horrific way to spend one’s childhood. He has suffered all of his life, beginning with the day he was taken away from his home but after all this he did not seek revenge, he became an author.

Rowlandson’s narrative speaks on the American Indians being removed from their native land by English people. When a reader starts reading the excerpt, one might think it is only about a woman losing her children but once you look at the details you will see how the events she describes relate to the event of Americans kicking American Indians off their land. “The occasion (as I thought) of their moving at this time, was, the English army, it being near and following them…” (Rowlandson 39). The reason why readers did not know of the event from the start of the story is because the main character did not know why either. The quote gives us confirmation that the moving to different places is because of the “English army,” Americans, taking over their property .

Both of these authors did a great job at helping readers view different types of suffering and how people handled it. Mary Rowlandson, the main character handles the suffering of losing her children and her home by staying connected with God, as I would. Olaudah Equiano, the main character of “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,” suffers by getting stolen from his home and brought into slavery. By looking at how Equiano deals with being a slave, it is like he just accepts what is happening and does not try to change it. Although Olaudah Equiano does not do much to change his life as a slave, he does a better job at explaining his sufferings to a point where people can relate or know a little background of the event.

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