Christianity and Friendship in Equiano

First question: Why is there a lot of mention of God/the Lord in chapter 11?  That is a question that came to my mind when I got a few pages into the chapter.  There were practically more mentions of the Lord/God than I could keep track of.  “Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.” pg. 202 This is one of the quotes from the book that mentions the lord.  The reason why I bring up this first question is that I fairly think that Equiano was a Christian and that this is a Christianity book.  There is a mention in the book that an Indian prince took up and adopted to Christianity. 

Second question: Was friendship a big part of this story?  I ask that because in earlier chapters of the book, Equiano went from place to place when he was growing up, and there were a couple of points where he bonded with the people he was staying with when he wasn’t traveling to another place.  “All of my poor countrymen, the slaves, when they heard of my leaving them, were very sorry, as I had always treated them with care and affection, and did everything I could to comfort the poor creatures, and render their condition easy.” pg. 211 This quote from the book tells me that when the time came for Equiano to leave and go to another place once again, they were stricken with sadness as was he because he helped a doctor take care of the sick and he treated them like family as they treated him the same. 

These are the reasons I think Christianity and Friendship play a big role in Equiano’s life before he eventually became a free man. 

4 thoughts on “Christianity and Friendship in Equiano

  1. I also noticed the “God” was used a lotted I think it is partially because Equiano values it himself, but also because it is a major aspect of his audience’s lives. I wonder if we will see the same level of faith in the last portion of the book? I think that will be telling of why he mentioned “God” so frequently.

  2. Personally, I believe that one component of Christian faith is that every Christian goes through comparable ups and downs. That is the essence of faith. Faith entails trusting God in all circumstances. Without suffering and effort, it is impossible to move from promise to purpose. And it’s not just because you’re a Christian; it’s also because you’re a human being. Everyone experiences life’s ups and downs. People, in my opinion, utilize religion to acquire strength when they are in difficulties or going through a difficult moment. Being a slave, being separated from his sister, and being sold frequently is difficult; most individuals require faith to persevere in the face of adversity. The fact that he and his sister were slaves made it difficult for them to see each other.
    Now, I thought it was amazing how he talked about God and culture, Africa, and being surrounded by loved ones, all of which are things that help us communicate. Was it his trust in God that enabled him to cope? Maybe! Believing that endurance generates excellent faith may have been what made him persevere and subsequently given him faith. I felt it was amazing how he referenced God and Christianity, which made me assume it was coping mechanisms.

  3. I think it is pretty easy to call Equiano a “true” Christian, so it also makes why he builds friendships pretty easy. Equiano truly loved his neighbor as himself, so building friendships kind of goes hand in hand with friendship. Even though some of Equiano’s friends weren’t the greatest, he still tried to be their friend.

  4. I noticed these common themes as well, I think their persistent presence throughout the narrative is due to the fact that religion/christianity, and varying friendships are what comforted and brought happiness to Equiano during his hardships. Looking up to God kept him strong through his faith. His friendships kept him strong and brought him moments of light in the dark. I agree with the comments here, the christianity is definitely a major point that Equiano really wants his readers to notice.

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