The 1826 satirical cartoon from Robert Cruikshank is seen as a pro slavery and anti abolitionist piece of artwork. The image appears to be pro slavery because of the subtle clues and details of the cartoon. For example these anti slavery theme is seen in the placement and actions of europeans in the scene, the liveliness of the tide and the natives in the background. Most of the prominent europeans in the cartoon are satirical depictions of abolitionist. These depictions are displayed as corrupt and they appear to be distorting how slavery appears to others. The abolitionist with his back to the viewer has a sign in one hand and a buy off check in his back pocket. Having one of the abolitionist be displayed as corrupt shows how Cruikshank made this piece to be clearly pro slavery. In Cruikshank’s cartoon one of the abolistinst is holding a picture of a slave being flogged by a white man in front of a telescope pointed at peaceful natives waiting on the shore for the slave ships. Also, The abolitionist holding up the picture appears to be cursing god, i see this because his facial expression and how he holds his palms face up to the sky.
This picture is in direct contrast with the ideas and views in The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano. This narrative discuss the grim and downright inhumane reality of the west indies slave trade. The purpose of creating this narrative was to show the british the reality of the slave trade, in hopes that parliament will abolish it. Equiano show these motives when he writes, “But is not the slave trade entirely a war with the heart of man? And surely that which is begun by breaking down the barriers of virtue involves in its continuance destruction to every principle, and buries all sentiments in ruin!” (Equiano 110). This perspective from equation shows how wrong Cruikshank’s pro slavery image is. Cruikshank’s pro slavery perspective stems from the economic advancement and prosperity that the slave trade creates. Equiano rejects this idea because he feels that the white man should not profit off the backs of African people.