The Question and Answer section for The Life of Olaudah Equiano is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
I recall that Equiano was worried about the cannibalism of white sailors. I think this makes the reader understand just how confused and scared new slaves were about the horrid world they were entering. They could only reference what was happening...
Equiano's purpose in writing the narrative was to expose the truth about the conditions of those in slavery, particularly, their experiences and treatment during the Middle Passage voyage.