"Oroonoko" ( Aphra Behn ) Essay by The Research Group

"Oroonoko" ( Aphra Behn )
Examines how 17th Cent. female author's biases shape her tale of a black hero.
# 20995 | 1,350 words | 1 source | 1994 | US
Published on Mar 06, 2003 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (General)


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From the Paper:

" Aphra Behn, in Oroonoko, plays a central role as narrator and character. The purpose of her piece is to persuade the reader that the "Royal Slave," Oroonoko, a character who is supposed to be a savage by European or English standards, is actually far more noble and civilized than the Europeans. The Europeans, on the other hand, are the true savages, or at least that is Behn's argument.

In order to give her story added credence, Behn claims that it is a true history. She claims that she is reporting what she herself saw and experienced, as well as what the hero himself told her about his life. Perhaps there is some irony in the first words of her narrative "I do not pretend" (1866), with the implication that she is not writing fiction but non-fiction. We cannot know, of course, precisely how much of the story she.."

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