Essay on Equiano's Exposed to English Culture: A Life-Changing Encounter

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  820 Words
Date:  2023-04-05

Moreover, Equiano's life improved socially due to his learning of English culture and language. While in England under his master Pascal, Equiano is exposed to various English customs. After being under Pascal's stewardship for a long period he felt more drawn into the European way of life. Equiano took interest in learning the English language to better adapt to his new home. Moreover, his chance meeting with Pascal's acquaintances the Guerin sisters proved to be beneficial in the long-term. The two sisters support his enthusiasm by sending him to school to increase his competencies in reading and writing. A skill not commonly learned by slaves at the time. Additionally, his desire to learn the English culture allowed him to avoid cultural shock in most of the countries h docked in the company of his master Pascal. At some point, he professed his increasing desire to imitate and imbibe the English culture. He noted "I now speak English tolerably well" and "embrace[s] every occasion of improvement. His ability to speak, read and write English correctly made him a more competent worker compared to the unlearned African slaves. This probably also meant that he could work fewer menial tasks and take on more sophisticated jobs such as being a clerk. The clerical job would instill in Equiano several skills. He would learn to do simple accounting jobs like bookkeeping or running errands for his master. In addition to this, Equiano would be able to earn higher wages in a shorter period than if he remained uneducated.

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Equiano also started rising in the world after he agreed to get baptized to Christianity and fully adopt the English culture. After docking in England, Pascal sent Equiano to wait on two Guerin The Guerin sisters influenced Pascal to allow Equiano to get baptized and get a Christian name. This enabled Equiano to familiarize himself with the European religious beliefs and to freely practice the faith in England. Equiano believed that his baptism and acceptance of the Christian faith under lawful decree proclaimed him a free man. His religious involvement made him more acceptable amongst the English since it displayed acceptance of the European culture and renunciation of his African customs.

Moreover, he managed to accumulate money in life after he learned how to conduct his businesses. Notably, his former boss Pascal betrayed him and sold him s a slave to a ship heading for west Indies. Luckily, he is purchased by Mr. Robert King who was charitable and humane. The merchant employed Equiano to various posts that exposed him to entrepreneurship. Equiano also served as his groom and King frequently hired out Equiano to fellow merchants. The fact that Equiano could speak English and be educated enabled him to work proficiently making him more useful to the captains than some of the white men. It provided the opportunity for Captain Thomas to hire him for numerous sea voyages in which he got to travel vastly. He was able to familiarize himself with different places and even set up a small enterprise with the captain's approval. Familiarization with trading activities during the sea voyages allowed him to gain entrepreneurial interest matched with his clerical skills, set up a business. He took to buying and selling goods and fruits to amass enough savings to buy his freedom which came at the cost of forty pounds sterling money.

Additionally, Robert King encouraged Equiano on his pursuit of greatness and freedom. For instance, King promised to help him obtain his freedom after he had raised enough money from his entrepreneurial activities. Notably, nothing motivated slaves as the idea of freedom. In this case, Equiano was determined to save forty pounds despite facing challenges such s cunning, prejudice, and theft. In lifer determination and desire to achieve a specific goal can aid an individual improve their live status significantly. Comparably, not many slaves would have had the courage to invest in the land of their bondage like Equiano.


Overall, Equiano faced various circumstances that helped improve his life status while still a slave and eventually purchase his freedom. Although he witnessed the atrocities and inhumane treatment of African slaves both on land and seas, he often found favor among his masters. When he was eleven years old, he was not sold to the West Indies like other slaves; instead, he remained aboard the slave ship. Moreover, his determination to learn and grasp the English culture and language gave him an advantage that most slaves lacked. His English comprehension and reading skills saw him become a clerk and undertake less menial jobs compared to fellow slaves. Noticeably he engaged in entrepreneurship under the help of his master King-a humane and kind master-which helped him buy his from at the cost of forty pounds. Just like Equiano stated, all people are equal and there is no lesser race; therefore, people should not subject others to treachery or any racial discrimination.

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Essay on Equiano's Exposed to English Culture: A Life-Changing Encounter. (2023, Apr 05). Retrieved from

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