Equiano and Browning both share in a slavery, Equiano in literal slavery, Browning in a veiled slavery. These two people had a burning desire for freedom. Equiano’s “heart burned (Page 234, 5th edition)” to be a freeman, to make a living for himself. He held a secret heartfelt desire for freedom. At one point he nearly obtained his freedom, yet he was sold back into slavery. His heart was “ready to burst with sorrow and anguish (Page 235, 5th edition)” upon this betrayal. However, Browning wrote a fictional poem using a character named Aurora Leigh to depict Browning’s own life. Browning uses the phrase “restless as a nest-deserted bird (Line 43, Page 1156)” to describe how she felt at a young age. She desired to write poetry, which in that day was typically reserved for men. Her passion for writing poetry was suppressed when she was taught by her aunt. She notes that it was similar to “A wild bird scarcely fledged, was brought to her cage.(Line 310, Page 1159)” This same bird, which depicts her desire to be free, was suppressed in her education. Both these authors felt a deep passion for freedom of revolution.
These two writers assisted in changing public opinion, Equiano in freeing slaves, Browning in equality for women. These writers depict that revolution does not just spring from a need, but it springs from a passion. Revolution springs from the deep desire of the heart. It has an emotional drive to it. It brings a heated passion; when suppressed the passion grows. “I kept the life thrust on me, on the outside (Line 477, Page 1162)” explains Browning. Even though she despised her aunt’s teaching, she kept her compressed passion on the inside. When this passion is released, it is similar to a fireball of emotion violently being released. “All within my breast was tumult, wildness, and delirium (Page 238, 5th edition)” exclaimed Equiano when he finally bought his own freedom.
Olaudah Equano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 5th Edition, Volume 2A, Pearson, 2012.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Auora Leigh, The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 4th Edition, Volume 2B, Pearson, 2012.