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Perhaps more than anything else, this work is centered around the destructiveness of the slave trade. Equiano's own life bears testament to how terribly it harms everyone involved. Africans, including children, were kidnapped from their homes and severed from their families. The bonds of mother and child, husband and wife, and brother and sister were destroyed. Slaves were given new names, their identities virtually erased. Any sense of history, culture, tradition, values, etc. were almost obliterated by the dominant society that kept them as chattel. They were subject to the most horrible punishments, delivered for capricious and unjust reasons. The chastity of female slaves was violated. Deleterious behavior resulted from the unnatural elevation of the white man over black. Furthermore, Christianity was perverted. Even white men were corrupted by the slave trade, since it pushed them towards their baser instincts and turned otherwise decent people into monsters. Though different masters show Equiano wildly varying degrees of cruelty or kindness, they are all complicit in its horrors, and hence does he endeavor through his work to show them the error of their ways.