European Colonialism and Imperialism in Aphra Behn's Oroonoko

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European Superiority in Oroonoko

Throughout Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, we can see the comparison between European and African culture occurring in many places. In a majority of the imagery, Behn's attitudes can be seen behind the text weighing heavily toward portraying European characteristics as socially more admirable.

Oroonoko's introduction acquaints us with a person so refined in every way as to be almost god-like. Every feature of this great warrior-prince is shown in detail to be the most beautiful one could hope to behold. The narrator says,"...he was adored as the wonder of all that world, and a darling of the soldiers." (1869) He is even said to have,"...a native beauty so transcending all those of his gloomy race that he struck an awe and reverence even in those that knew not his quality;..." (1870) Clearly, this is the description of a person destined for greatness. Oroonoko, throughout his adventures, lives by these very features. After Oroonoko becomes sold as a slave, for example, he becomes a friend of the narrator and the overseer in the New World thro...

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