Oroonoko : The Royal Slave By Aphra Behn Essay

Oroonoko : The Royal Slave By Aphra Behn Essay

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Oroonoko; The Royal Slave is written by Aphra Behn who was an English author. Her novel was first published in 1688. At its time of publication and still today this day, a lot of controversy surrounds Behn’s novel. It is important because it was one of the first published abolitionist writings by a woman. Behn influenced future writers to talk about subject that would normally be considered taboo. Oroonoko is about an African prince who is truly in love with a beautiful girl by the name of Imoinda. Her own grandfather rapes her and she is eventually sold as a slave. Which results in her ending up Suriname with her new slave name, Clemene. At the time, Suriname is under the colonial of the British. Oroonoko belongs to a tribe that is involved in slave trade. Without warning one day, the Governor of his land betrays him and his men, by making them prisoners. They are then sold as slaves to Teffry who is under British control and Oronooko 's name is changed to Caesar. When Oroonoko arrives in Suriname, he discovers that Imoinda, who is previously pronounced as dead, is still alive and works as a slave in the same plantation that he is stationed. As love stories go, they get together and Oroonoko later finds out that Imoinda is pregnant. Desperate, Oroonoko attempts to free himself and his family from slavery but he is betrayed yet again and suffers tremendously. In a desperate measure, the man decides to kill the love of his life and his unborn child. Imoinda begs Oroonoko to take her life, because they both know that the life of a slave is no life at all. Oroonoko dies as a hero when he attempts to take revenge on the men whom have denied him his freedoms fails, graphically. Aphra Behn created controversy and made critics angry by p...


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... is saying that the other dark skinned people do not really matter. Most importantly, Oroonoko dies a horrible death and it does nothing to help the people around him. She does not really give the idea that slavery is bad. It almost seems as if she is saying slavery is okay but the way these people are treated is not okay. In that case, her writing cannot be considered abolitionist or anti-slavery. It is simply a writing on why some people should have some rights. Her writing shows that she has compassion for these people but only in the sense that she does not want them to suffer as much as they do and not that she wants them free.
-I choose to argue that she is racist and pro-slavery because everyone argues that it is anti-slavery. I understand that this writing influenced many people to stand up against slavery and help the people that could not help themselves.

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