Essay about The Narrative Style of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko

Essay about The Narrative Style of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko

Length: 701 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Oroonoko is an intriguing and epic story of a young African prince who gets tricked into becoming a slave for a workers plantation written by the first professional woman author, Aphra Behn. As the story is told by the narrator (who the reader will presume to be the author Aphra Behn) the reader gets a sense of a first hand perspective from the narrator. This allows the reader to only get a perspective from the narrator's point of view. As the story is told to the reader, the narrator seems to favour or share sympathy with Oroonoko and even in some cases, throw in a biased opinion. This is why the story of Oroonoko and his misfortunes should not be taken as a true account, but rather as a narrative biased opinionated tale.

When we first meet Oroonoko he is described physically by the narrator very descriptively and in depth. The narrator does an immensely intense job of describing all of the physically defining features that Oroonoko withholds. He is even fit to a description by the narrator as being an absolutely flawless human being with no imperfections except for the fact that he is black. He is described as "not of that brown rusty black which most of that nation are, but of perfect ebony, or polished jet. His eyes were the most awful that could be seen, and very piercing; the white of 'em being like snow, as were his teeth. His nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat. His mouth the finest shaped that could be seen; far from those great turned lips which are so natural to the rest of the negroes. The whole proportion and air of his face was so nobly and exactly formed that, bating his color, there could be nothing in nature more beautiful, agreeable, and handsome. There was no one grace wanting that bear...


... middle of paper ...


...n but one can conclude that when we read the story, the reader must be sure to know that what is happening is truly only one person's biased opinion.

Aphra Ben's story of Oroonoko is beautifully written, even for the first ever professional woman writer. The story takes the reader through the twists and turns of a portion of a young African Prince's life. However, with the narrator telling the story in the first person perspective we can only concur that what is being said may or may not be biased. As we see in the descriptions of Oroonoko, and even in the way Behn phrases her words, there is some clear favouritism going on. All in all, Oroonoko is a wonderful story that is narrated beautifully, but when one reads it, you must be aware of the first hand perspective and the bias because the events that happen could be exaggerated or understated by the narrator.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Oroonoko, by Aphra Behn

- Aphra Behn’s novel, Oroonoko, gives a very different perspective on a slave narrative. Her characters embody various characteristics not usually given to those genders and races. Imoinda’s character represents both the modern feminist, as well as the subservient and mental characteristics of the typical eighteenth-century English woman. Oroonoko becomes an embodiment of what is normally a white man’s characteristic; he is the noble, princely, and sympathetic character that is not usually attributed to black men in general throughout most novels of slavery....   [tags: Slave Narrative, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn Essays

- Originally published in 1688, Aphra Behn’s groundbreaking novel Oronooko remains a rich artifact for decoding the context and era in which it was written in. When Oroonoko had first been published, the basic concept of the novel as a writing technique was still in early experimental stages. Aphra Behn, though, through countless stylistic techniques and interwoven patterns, seamlessly wrote one of the earliest and most important novels of all time. This essay will elaborate upon such stylistic traits and patterns and further the reader’s understanding of not only the novel, but also what Oroonoko really said about the culture of the time period....   [tags: Literary Techniques, Writing Styles]

Better Essays
1427 words (4.1 pages)

The Reflection: A Song Essay

- The poem 'The Reflection: A Song' was written in 1684 by Aphra Behn and seems to feature around the theme of realisation and betrayal. Written by a woman, the poem's main character of a betrayed female has a subjective stance, which evokes a strong emotion of sympathy from the reader as it could represent a true life event. The structure of the poem is set out in seven stanzas, consisting eight lines. What is interesting about the structure is the use of iambic tetrameter with the first, third, fifth and seventh lines of each stanza and iambic trimeter with the second, fourth, sixth and eight lines....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Aphra Behn]

Better Essays
1441 words (4.1 pages)

Comparing Defoe's Moll Flanders and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko Essay

- Credibility and Realism in Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko       In the Dictionary of Literary Terms, Harry Shaw states, "In effective narrative literature, fictional persons, through characterization, become so credible that they exist for the reader as real people." (1) Looking at Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (2) and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko (3) the reader will find it difficult to make this definition conform to Moll and Behn's narrator. This doesn't mean that Defoe's and Behn's work is 'ineffective', but there is indeed a difficulty: it is the claim of truth....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Free Essays
3562 words (10.2 pages)

Comparison of the Presentation of Seduction in the Poems To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and The Willing Mistress by Aphra Behn

- Comparison of the Presentation of Seduction in the Poems To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and The Willing Mistress by Aphra Behn Both Marvell and Behn wrote during the Renaissance period and had different styles. However, they explored similar themes. In 'To His Coy Mistress', Marvell uses a cleverly structured argument called 'syllogism' to persuade his lover to 'seize the day' and make love before their passion fades. In the first section, Marvell speculates how he would adore his mistress....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Kind Fortune in Aphra Behn's The Rover

- Kind Fortune in Aphra Behn's The Rover Fortune governs people's lives -- a reasonable conclusion considering the continuing presence of billboards advertising palm readers, colorful displays of horoscopes in magazines, and late night commercials marketing tarot card readings for only two dollars a minute. In her farcical comedy The Rover, Aphra Behn traces the fates of ladies of fortune, ladies of the night, men of honour, and men of disrepute as that sneaky rogue called Love entangles their lives....   [tags: Aphra Behn Rover Essays]

Better Essays
654 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Women and Men in Aphra Behn's "The Rover"

- Women and Men in Aphra Behn's "The Rover" Act one of the rover opens with two scenes which indicate that men and women occupy very different spheres. Compare and contrast the men and women in Act 1 scene1 and Act 1 scene 2. Aphra Behn sets the first scene of her play within a chamber in order to introduce a domestic sphere, allowing the audience to gain direct information about the characters and their inner views and ideas as they are hidden from the outside world. Consequently Behn is able to communicate to the audience the difficulties of a patriarchal society, this is portrayed by Helena and Florinda’s behaviour towards their brother, Pedro, who although maintains status due to his gend...   [tags: Aphra Behn Rover Essays]

Better Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Aphra Behn's Poem To the Fair Clarinda Essay

- Aphra Behn's Poem "To the Fair Clarinda" In her poem “To the fair Clarinda,” Aphra Behn writes of a companionship between the speaker and Clarinda. This paper will attempt to prove that Clarinda is a hermaphrodite instead of a woman as is popularly believed, thus completely changing the meaning of the poem. In the first few lines, the speaker decides to call Clarinda “Lovely Charming Youth” (4) instead of “Fair lovely Maid” (1). The speaker says that the name will “lessen my constraint” (6). This could refer to the sexual feelings that are holding her back because of the womanly part of Clarinda....   [tags: Aphra Behn Fair Clarinda Essays]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

A Patriarchic Society in Aphra Behn's The Rover Essay

- A Patriarchic Society in Aphra Behn's The Rover In her play The Rover, Aphra Behn uses the treatment of women to suggest the presence of a strong patriarchic society and what harm can become of it. The main female character Florinda is manipulated, used, and treated horribly by men in instances of near-rape, battering and beating, and foul language among other things. Behn also uses Willmore, one of the main male characters, and his attitude towards women to prove her point. By doing this, Behn is suggesting patriarchy is dangerous for women, and their lack of fighting against it presupposes what can happen to women over time if this strong patriarchic society is allowed to flourish....   [tags: Aphra Behn Rover Male Dominance Essays]

Better Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Aphra Behn Essay

- In the 17th century a writer named Aphra Behn emerged as leader in English literature. With a shaky beginning, Behn persevered to become the first female professional writer. With her feminist opinions, she revolutionized writing and her impacts in the 17th century would change modern day writing. Behn was a clever writer who wrote lively, vibrant plays and poetry. Behn impacted the world, not only with her writing, but also with her determination and voice about her feminist opinions. Behn showed strength and courage by persevering through her struggles and tragedies....   [tags: feminism, female writer, literature, leadership]

Better Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)