Comparing and Contrasting Two Narratives

Comparison between the Excerpts from Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

The narrative of Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is centered on slave trade destructiveness. The life of Equino bears the witness of how every person involved was terribly hurt. During that time, the African children including families are kidnapped from their homeland and severed from their families. This act destroyed the bond between husband and wife, mother and child, and brother and sister. The slaves were given new identities as their name changed. These individuals were subject to horrible punishments delivered from unjust and capricious reasons. Equino had experience with different masters where he learnt their varying degree of kindness or cruelty. 

One of the themes that have permeated the test is freedom. For the better part of his youth, Equino mired in slavery but he procures his liberation from Robert King. The physical freedom from slavery was his turning point from object to subject and he became a man from a slave. He bought his freedom and he was able to take control of his economic and physical affairs and he was able to solidify the sense of self. This was an aspect he had fitfully been pursuing during his enslavement days. Another way he acquired freedom is when he learnt how to read and write which helped him to ponder how books were talking to people. 

In the narrative Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin starts his part one autobiography in England country vacation in Twyford town. During the first pages, he is addressing William his son who is the Jersey’s royal Governor where he tells him that he have always been taking pleasure of listening to his family’s members stories. He uses his life trajectory where he started as an obscured tradesman to renowned statesman. He uses letters that urges him to finish his memoirs. He started a fashionable library and according to his biography, reading had become fashionable. He is becoming politically motivated as his age is progressing where he started advocating for women education. 

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin has explained the theme of freedom and the self-made theme. According to the author, he exemplifies the ideal American hero as he worked hard, came from a humble beginning, and made a successful mythical, life for his family and himself. His father largely influenced him who was a soap and candle maker, and he is the contributor of what his son turned in to. However, he also plays a role in his success as he worked vigorously in becoming a self-made man. He became active in public affairs after becoming a printer with a personal shop, invented a number of creations, published several well-received pamphlets and articles, begun a successful newspaper business, paved and lighted public streets, created a fire department and sanitation system, invented several creations in bettering other people’s live among other improvements in the society.


Both Equino and Franklin were hardworking men of their time. They used their sweat to attain freedom in different aspects. Equino worked hard as a slave to attain money to buy his freedom. He was able to attain this after several years of hard work. He bought his freedom and he became a human and not a slave which is a representation of the aspect of self-made. Equino enrolled for education to learn irrespective of his state as slave. Learning gives an individual knowledge and it frees their mind from slavery of unknowing. On the other hand, Franklin becomes a self-made man after his education and the persistence of his father. His dad influences him in different aspects of his life while looking at what would interest him.

Both articles also reveal freedom not only to them but to their society also. Franklin for example through his achievements gives back to the community. He is involved in many activities that will change his community. One way that he is actively involved in sharing freedom and delivering the society is through his advocating for women education. This was one was to free women from “slavery” by educating them to freedom. Through that example, it is true that both articles uses education as a way to acquire knowledge and freed from slavery. Franklin article is full of good works he performed in bettering for his society while Equino work contains work of a hardworking young man ready to free from slavery. 


The two articles as shown above are very similar in the aspect of freedom and self-made; however they differ in different aspects. One of the differing aspect is in Equinno article is that slavery is the main theme of his work. He explains the problems that blacks or Africans experienced in the White people land as slaves. They were ill-treated, some raped and other in human acts. These individuals are treated like less human, and this is what triggers him to fight for his freedom. He wants to show the world that he and other with his skin are similarly in knowledge and intellectually. Franklin article on the other hand is of a boy who has a father guiding him to his success. The article is more in a self-made man than a freedom article. 

Although Franklin family suffers due to their belief, their suffering is incomparable to that of Equinno. Franklin is assisted to his self-made life by his role model-father while Equinno walks the journey alone to attain his success. Suffering in Equinno’s article is first hand and freedom is one of the treatments. However, freedom in the Franklin narrative is for self-attainment. In conclusion, the two article are closely related in their theme and they explain the theme of freedom and self-made though differently. 


Lockard, J. (2014). The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1st ed.). Retrieved from, B. (2014). The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1st ed.). University of Adelide. Retrieved from

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