There was a point in time where religion was valued over science, that the beliefs of the great unknown were much more believable than the theories being presented and proven that debunked aspects of religion. It really takes to the phrase ignorance is bliss to believe it that it is still reflected today with advancements of modern technology showing not only the curvature of the earth but what it looks like from outer space (the earth isn’t flat guys and if you still believe this then I would suggest going back to your designated time period). The point being made however is that with religion (for the ones who identify with one) it seems as if there are two sides: one that obeys it blindly and ones who pick and choose which parts of it they wish to follow. For the ones that obey it blindly, especially Christianity, as they attend church and hear the interpretations given to them by another, they become the sheep and influenced by the opinions of the preacher. To be able to read the Bible on their own gives power to the reader to create their own interpretations which makes Equiano’s narrative impactful. While he is taught the Bible before he begins to read or write, the idea is that Equiano is more intrigued with halving more of a conversation with the books, an accurate representation of his frustration as more of a longing for knowledge. The Bible’s role serves more as a representation of the culture, not for the beliefs that those who preach it make it out to be.
“He taught me to shave, and dress hair a little, and also to read in the Bible, explaining many passages to me, which I did not comprehend. I was wonderfully surprised to see the laws and rules of my own country written almost exactly here; a circumstance which, I believe, tended to impress our manners and customs more deeply on my memory.” (Chapter 4)
Based on the quote, he is attracted to the more universal themes that the Bible conveys, the parts that are not preaching for the white man to have slaves. While he is enslaved, the Bible which became one of the biggest motivators for slaves to persevere and hold on to the hope of salvation. Thus, with the abilities that Equiano possesses in reading and writing allows for him to create his own interpretations, even if certain points he was in need of assistance. This is where the Bible served as useful to Equiano, but not as much for other slaves. Christianity is often synonymous with European civilization meaning that he was appropriated in the way all the other slaves are if their teachings of the Bible are coming from the white man. In having the freedom to make the interpretations he is thus drawn to the deeper teachings and not what is surface level which the Christians would use to justify the need for slavery. They can eat up all the cookies they want, try to paint it as a basic human right, but not all cookies taste good dipped in milk meaning that Equiano’s assimilation only gave him a sense of pursing his own freedom and destiny but also establishing the foundation for the slave autobiography/ narrative.