The narratives written by Equiano and Jacobs are sometimes compared to “Rags-to-


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The narratives written by Equiano and Jacobs are sometimes compared to “Rags-to-Riches Tales,” which are akin to parts of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and other similar stories. Usually in these stories, a poor boy goes to the city, makes the most of his chances, encounters good fortune and events to prove himself, and advances to inevitable success. The conventional rags-to-riches story contains:
An early life of deprivation and hardship or of benign simplicity.
An abrupt departure from family and friends.
Travel to unfamiliar places.
Confrontations with different cultures and different customs.
Reports of innocence encountering sophistication, disregard, and cruelty.
Triumph over adversity through hard work and the help of friends.
Achievement of financial success and public esteem.
Prompt: After reading both narratives (Equiano’s and Jacobs’) and reviewing the elements of the “rags-to-riches” trope, answer the following questions in a well-organized, formal essay of AT LEAST 500 words:
How do both narratives demonstrate the elements of the “rags-to-riches” trope? How effective was the use of this common structure for both narratives?

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