Oroonoko

In: English and Literature

Submitted By antlive
Words 3521
Pages 15
Oroonoko’s Accidental Abolition Activist Ooronoko: or the Royal Slave is a story of a brave and young West African Prince who was taken from the Ivory Coast and sold into slavery in the northern part of South America by British Colonizers. A Caucasian female, who grew up in a world where people who were not white were barely seen as human beings especially if they were of African descent, narrates the novel. Ooronoko’s tale begins with the readers being greeted by the anonymous English female narrator who is waiting on a trip back to Europe from the plantation on South Africa that Ooronoko was sent. Early on in the story it becomes clear narrator completely intends to give an exceptionally detailed and vivid description of what exactly is taking place during her stay in South America and the goings on in Ooronoko’s life both before and after he becomes a slave. What the writer notices during her stay in these two foreign lands are very much what you would expect of someone who is seeing people and places for the first time. Often times when people are amazed by something or in a place for a first time, their discussions about it are usually long and explicit. Her detailed descriptions are likely a result of her being amazed at these people and their behavior and much less likely to be her making an attempt to abolish all slavery and create a better relationship with the Native Americans. *Oroonoko: the Royal Slave is a novel that does not have enough evidence for someone to say the author was advocating for the abolition of slavery or even much condemning slavery or social inequality and may perhaps be reinforcing the beliefs that some slave masters already had towards blacks.*
Whether done intentionally or not, the narrator’s extreme details provide a magnificent learning opportunity for the readers. Her opinions and attention to detail allows readers to…...

Similar Documents

My Essay

...English Literature Before 1790 Essay #21: Assess the role of the female characters in Oroonoko Feminist point of view and psychoanalysis Notes to LCY We change the focus now We talk about how the narrator tells more than stories She portrays 3 things - all paradoxical 1. Her position in the book – the implication of power in society, and her flip to author creating a superior position 2. Her uncertainty over female power – the flip 3. Her subordination (submission) – her paradoxical actions and her will (can also mention what she has seen) Focus on 3 things on how they affect the 3 things it portrays 1. Patriarchy 2. Oppression 3. Stereotyping   When the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1973) wrote “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” (p. 301), it raised the idea that instead of any biological, psychological, or economic causes, being a women is purely a social construction in a patriarchal society to oppress women. The use of the word “becomes” implies a voluntary submission that under a patriarchal settings, women embrace the stereotypical norms of what constitutes femininity, hence “become” a woman (Butler, 1986). Under such settings in a parochial society, the birth of Oroonoko highlights the paradoxical traits of female though its display of psychological struggles occurring between the main characters. Oroonoko, commonly regarded as the most famous book by the first English female professional writer Aphra Behn in 1680 (already...

Words: 2220 - Pages: 9

Evolution of British Novel

...the subject, this guideline has been applied with common sense, and reference is made to novels in other languages or novelists who are not primarily British where appropriate. Portrait of Samuel Richardson by Joseph Highmore.National Portrait Gallery, Westminster, England. Contents [hide] 1 Early novels in English 2 Romantic period 3 Victorian novel 4 20th century 5 Survey 6 Famous novelists (alphabetical order) 7 See also 8 References Early novels in English[edit source | editbeta] See the article First novel in English. The English novel has generally been seen as beginning with Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722),[1] though John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko (1688) are also contenders, while earlier works such as Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, and even the "Prologue" to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales have been suggested.[2] Another important early novel is Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, which is both a satire of human nature, as well as a parody of travellers' tales like Robinson Crusoe.[3] The rise of the novel as an important literary genre is generally associated with the growth of the middle class in England. Other major 18th century English novelists are Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), author of the epistolary novels Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa (1747-8); Henry Fielding (1707–54), who wrote......

Words: 4017 - Pages: 17

Gender and Power Dyanics in ; ‘Oroonoko’ by Aphra Behn and ‘the Rape of the Lock’ by Alexander Pope

...Paper 1; ‘Oroonoko’ by Aphra Behn and ‘The Rape of the Lock’ by Alexander Pope The relationship between gender and power dynamics is relevant to the understanding of literature through the ages. However, the widespread problematic belief that women are simply the passive, powerless victims of male power is oversimplified and outdated. Power relations, as theorized by Foucault in ‘The History of Sexuality’ are far more complex; the dynamic is ever-changing, from moment to moment and therefore any interpretation of the exchange of power requires a much deeper analysis than what meets the eye. The idea of power determined from and by sexuality can be understood in a comparison of the novel, ‘Oroonoko’ by Aphra Behn with the satiric poem, ‘The Rape of the Lock’ by Alexander Pope. While both authors in their works characterize women as possessions defined in relation to men, in memorializing their work, they empower these female characters. The power and gender of the writers influences the tools utilized and effect achieved in doing so. ‘Oroonoko’ chronicles the story of the African prince Oroonoko and his beloved Imoinda, who are captured by the British and brought to Surinam as slaves. Aphra Behn, who was the first woman in England to make a living by writing, combines elements of travel writing and heroic romance to explore and garner sympathy for African slaves. Women are often defined in opposition to men, which puts into perspective how men are regarded as the......

Words: 1610 - Pages: 7

Racism and Slavery in Oronooko

...be interpreted and read the wrong way. The novella, Oroonoko written by Aphra Behn, is a great example of this. Oroonoko is the story of the Royal Slave. It is written in the perspective of a white colonial woman in the eighteenth century. I found the novella to have a lot of subtle racial undertones despite the fact that during that time it was seen as an anti-slavery novel.(1) There have been debates on whether this novella is pro-slavery or anti-slavery? While reading, I decided that it was neither, but more so a novella from a revolutionist point of view. One of the first things that sticks out is the way in which she described Oroonoko physically. Behn stated that his face “was not of that brown rusty black which most of that nation are, but of perfect ebony, or polished jet.”(2) Pause. Using the word “rusty” to describe someone’s skin tone is never good, but when one thinks of rusty, it is something that was once white/shiny and now has just become old and discolored. His nose “was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat” and lastly 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”(2). With describing him physically she has reinforced negative African stereotypes by generalizing the look of the population. Not only that but these qualities she is giving him are all ones used to being seen in European societies. By giving Oroonoko these qualities, she completely white-washes his......

Words: 1147 - Pages: 5

Thar Exam

...tragedy: Drama with a tragic hero etc. but uses rules of neoclassicism, words of Shakespeare 15. Who was William Wycherley? * Very well-known play writer; wrote plays that made fun of the high society(even though he was part of it) * Wrote: “Comedy of Manners”, “The Country wife”, “The Plan Dealer” 16. What is occurring in the scene from The Country Wife that we watched in class? Horner is sleeping with Sir Jasper Wife 17. What word is used as a euphamism in this scene? -“Seeing the China”: the sex. 18. Who was Aphra Behn? * 1st English woman literary writer * Most well-known woman play write from Restoration and Comedy of Intrigue * Her most well know play: “The Rover”(1677) * Her most well-known novel: “Oroonoko”(1688) * Nickname she published under: “Divine Astrea” 19. What is her most famous play? -“The Rover” 20. Aside from being a playwright, she is also said to have been what? -A poet, novelist, and spy 21. What is the greatest change to theatre in England that came from the Restoration? Women on stage 22. Who had previously played female characters on stage? -Young boys 23. Why were women, suddenly allowed on stage? - King Charles went to France where he saw women on stage 24. Describe the role of Women on the English stage during the Restoration. Objectified, not glorious or glamorous, exciting, first time allowed on stage 25. Who is considered to be the first “female star”? -Anne Bracegirdle 26. What is a......

Words: 2415 - Pages: 10

Global Interaction

...it is today from all of the technologies and new inventions that have developed over time. -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. Bentley and Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters. Chapter 22, pg. 466 [ 2 ]. Bentley and Ziegler, Traditions and Encounters, Chapter 22, pg.466 [ 3 ]. Bentley and Ziegler, pg. 467 [ 4 ]. Amerigo Vespucci “The New World 1502.” Humanities 240D Class Website [ 5 ]. Amerigo Vespucci “The New World 1502.” [ 6 ]. Vespucci “The New World 1502.” [ 7 ]. Bentley and Ziegler. “Traditions and Encounters.” [ 8 ]. Powerpoint Slides. “Africa and Slavery.” [ 9 ]. Bentley and Ziegler, “Traditons and Encounters.” Chapter 25. Pg. 558 [ 10 ]. Powerpoint Slides. “Africa and Slavery.” [ 11 ]. Aphra Behn. “Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave” Humanities 240D Class Website. [ 12 ]. Bentley and Ziegler. “Traditions and Encounters.” [ 13 ]. Bentley and Ziegler [ 14 ]. Bentley and Ziegler [ 15 ]. Bentley and Ziegler. [ 16 ]. Bentley and Ziegler. [ 17 ]. Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, “On the Reasons for the Just War among the Indians” Humanities 240D Class Website....

Words: 1231 - Pages: 5