Cannibals unit paper two unrevised (1)

The strongest evidence of equianos captivity

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The strongest evidence of Equiano’s captivity producing transculturation comes when he
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describes how he came to believe that European cultural practices were unrivaled. In his own words, “I no longer looked upon them as spirits, but as men superior to us, and therefore I had the stronger desire to resemble them; to imbibe their spirit, and imitate their manners; I therefore embraced every occasion of improvement” (56). In this moment Equiano is perfectly encapsulating every facet of Pratt’s definition of transculturation. Equiano, as a captive, is submerged in a culture that appears dominant to him in every way. His status as a captive marginalizes him and forces him to try and become more European so that he too can feel superior. He could have chosen to remain true to his culture, he could have fought against the pervasive nature of European culture, but he did not. As we have seen Equiano's captivity caused him to transculturate several aspects of European society. His choice to accept these new practices were not easy, and I understand that. Equiano had to transculturate to survive, to remain relevant, and the choices he faced were in no way easy, but that is exactly how captivity produces transculturation. The captives can remain true to a culture being marginalized, perhaps even erased, or they can choose to adapt. Equiano chose the latter, and for that no one can judge him.
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Works Cited Sollors, Werner, ed. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself . New York: W.W. Norton &, 2001. Print.
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  • Spring '12
  • KIM
  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, narrative Equiano displays

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