I am working on a paper and I am looking for a quote that would illustrate the importance of sailing to Equiano and how it shaped his identity, made others respect him, helped him earn money and gain his freedom etc. Thank you!!!
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For long sections of the Narrative, one could be fooled into forgetting that this is a slave narrative. Equiano became enamored of the sea as soon as he was no longer frightened by it, and most of his life's success is due to it. In a way, the sea provided an equalizer; once he established himself as a competent sailor, he could distinguish himself in spite of his skin color. Of course, he still faced myriad problems and oppressions on ships, but the looseness of sea life (as opposed to the strictness of land life) allowed him to flourish and ultimately make money to buy his freedom. Finally, the book is often as much adventure story and sailing narrative as anything else, which reveals how fully ingrained into Equiano's consciousness the life of a sailor was.
My master now left me entirely to the captain, though he still wished for me to be with him; but I, who always much wished to lose sight of the West Indies, was not a little rejoiced at the thoughts of seeing any other country. Therefore, relying on the goodness of my captain, I got ready all the little venture I could; and, when the vessel was ready, we sailed, to my great joy.
The Life of Olaudah Equiano