For this assignment, compare the lives of William Byrd and Olaudah Equiano. These are two very different experiences of early American life: one of relative luxury and ease and the other of bondage and slavery. How are the differences in these lives made manifest? How do these deep differences get articulated in how each writer views the world, his role in it, and his sense of himself as a person? Be sure to use material and examples from your readings and research to support your conclusions.
As you reflect on this comparison, respond to the following questions:
How are such radical differences in the conditions of life justified? In other words, how is such dramatic inequality accepted?
Are such inequalities ever justified? When? Why or why not?
Though not as dramatic as the inequality between slave and master, there are many ways that inequality remains in American life today. Where are such inequalities? Are they justified? Why or why not?