Equiano attempts to cultivate a sympathetic mood throughout the narrative. He aims to show the reader his deeply human reactions to adversity primarily so that the reader will be angry, sad, joyful, and otherwise emotional on his behalf. One example is in Chapter 4, when the ship on which Equiano is trapped ends up engaged in a battle:
[C]heering myself with the reflection that there was a time allotted for me to die as well as to be born, I instantly cast off all fear or thought whatever of death, and went through the whole of my duty with alacrity; pleasing myself with the hope, if I survived the battle, of relating it and the dangers I had escaped, to the Miss Guerins, and others, when I should return to London.
Equiano is still a child of around 12 at this point in the narrative. He is overwhelmed by the sheer noise of the battle, and he realizes that he could die. His fearlessness is both heartbreaking and admirable. He uses his newfound Christianity to make peace with the idea that his death will happen whenever God means it to happen, and that there is no use trying to change his fate. Many of his Christian readers may wish they could have such unshakable faith. At the same time, he is very young to need this kind of faith. Equiano thus coaxes readers to sympathize with his childhood self and then to get angry that he had to adapt to such violent conditions so young.
Equiano endears himself to the reader even more by demonstrating a certain bravado. He writes that as he accepted the inevitability of death, he imagined the pleasures of telling the story to women back in England. The adult Equiano has made clear that he does not see any place for bravado in his own storytelling, but he admits that he fantasized about grandstanding as a child. This deeply human impulse to show off with a good story encourages yet more sympathy from readers who are doubtless familiar with the impulse themselves.