English (Check)

Read the following excerpt from Equiano's autobiography. Then answer the questions below.

Some of the people of the ship used to tell me they were going to carry me back to my own country and this made me very happy. I was quite rejoiced at the sound of going back, and thought if I should get home what I should have to tell. But I was reserved for another fate and was soon undeceived when we come within sight of the English coast. While I was on board this ship, my captain and master named me Gustavus Vassa. I at that time began to understand him a little, and refused to be called so, and told him as well as I could that I would be called Jacob; but he said I should not, and still called me Gustavus; and when I refused to answer to my new name, which at first I did, it gained me many a cuff; so at length I submitted and was obliged to bear the present name, by which I have been known ever since.

1. Slave narratives contain vivid accounts of oppression. What examples of oppression appear in the passage above?

A: "[I] told him as well as I could that I would be called Jacob; but he said I should not, and still called me Gustavus" and "...when I refused to answer to my new name, which at first I did, it gained me many a cuff" are examples of oppression that appear in the above passage.

2. In what ways was Equiano's response to the change in his name different from his response to the oppression he suffered on his voyage from Africa? How do you account for the difference?

A: Equiano's response to the change in his name was different from his response to the oppression he suffered on his voyage from African in that he refused to be called by a different name, whereas he didn't try to fight the slave holders that took him from his home. His contrasting responses alone is how I account for the difference.

3. Why might Equiano have asked the captain to call him Jacob rather than Olaudah?

A: Equiano might have asked the captain to call him Jacob rather than Olaudah because it was the name that he was given by his first master.

4. Look up Gustavus I in an encyclopedia. Then write who Equiano was named after. Was this name an appropriate choice? Why?

A: Equiano was named after the first king of modern Sweden. This name was not an appropriate choice because kings are extremely powerful and are treated with the highest level of respect. This was the exact opposite for Equiano, however. He was a slave and was treated as such.

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