Deceitful Politicians

There is much going on in the first picture. There are three visible Quakers, that act as politicians, leaders of a movement to abolish slavery. Although all three seem to depict a sense of anti-slavery; the note on the Quaker on the far left-hand side, who is the only one facing away from the viewer of the political cartoon as a form of symbolism, a spectacle that truly depicts the nature of the political cartoon. While the right hand Quaker presents a narrow view (represented by the telescope) the treatment of the slaves daily life, is an actual representation of the treatment of the “negro slaves” while the cartoon satirizes that the slaves on the far right side, are actually happier than the Quaker represents to the citizens/ followers. There are several other representations of satirizing the Quakers movement as an anti-slavery, but this political cartoon is pro-slavery, this is because the there is so much chaos in one picture with multiple and overwhelming protests, which seems to me, is being made fun off with the simple fact that the Quaker who is on the left side facing the away from the viewer has a sign that says “Invoice from E.I. sugar.” This simple phrase represents the whole cartoon as a whole because it contradicts all other cause, especially the large sign he holds, which does support slavery to produce sugar.

Much like the Robert Cruikshank, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano too faces with deceit. In volume II chapter VIII travels between island he calls New Providence. On the first Bahama island; or “keys,” they come across with “very large birds, called flamingos” which were new species to them. The captain that he traveled with attempted several times to fool Equiano and the other slaves that were there with them, “our captain swore they were cannibals. This created a great panic among us, and we held a consultation how to act” (145). This is already proof that he is aware of the deception that goes around with the society standard in treating not only slaves but the free black man like Equiano. But this is one of the least extreme examples, later on in this chapter, two white men, try to steal off Equiano and he claims that he knows their deception process “I told them to be still and keep off; for I had seen those kind of tricks played upon other free blacks, and they must not think to serve me so” (152).   

All in all, Equiano takes the time to reflect this experience and possibly make a connection with the popular satire novel from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. He sort of matches this experience to how works like Gulliver’s travels satirizes works to persuade people for political purpose to push forward an agenda. Although this passage chapter seems to make no sense too much on the political structure of pro or anti-abolition, it does serve the purpose to shed light propaganda from false politicians claiming to be anti-slavery like Robert Cruikshank political cartoon that is misleading to the people that strongly believe that abolition should be taken into action.   

Enrique Ramos


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