Essays On Oroonoko And Slavery

Essays On Oroonoko And Slavery-59
In fact, as Trefry is confiding in Oroonoko/Caesar, he tells him of his infatuation with Clemene.Ironically, Oroonoko is not yet aware that Celemene is in fact his long-lost love Imoinda and thus, he views her as any common slave.

In fact, as Trefry is confiding in Oroonoko/Caesar, he tells him of his infatuation with Clemene.

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Only more romanticized details of Oroonoko's captivity follow.

While the common practice of renaming the slaves is intended to belittle slaves and destroy their past identity, Trefry renames Oroonoko Caesar, representing his splendor.

In the article "Royalism and honor in Aphra Behn's 'Oroonoko,'" author Anita Pacheco, affirms that Behn portrays Oroonoko in terms of his royal status, not as an African slave and states: "Consequently, Oroonoko is a slave in name only; that, apparently, is degradation enough; actual slave labor is quite unthinkable." Clearly, Behn's description of Oroonoko and his experience on the plantation is outrageously far from what the vast majority of slaves endured.

More so, in this scene, Behn depicts the slaves as undignified as, upon seeing Oroonoko, many of the men whom he had actually sold into slavery kiss his feet and pay him "Divine Homage" (p 70).

Notably, the narrator endorses this Anglicized individual while she neglects the Coramantien collective.

Behn presents an opposing perspective through Oroonoko himself.Oroonoko's own support of the master/slave relationship is evident as he says: "...[I] wonder how she escapes those who can entertain her as you can do; or why, being your slave, you do not oblige her to yield" (p 71).This statement provokes the idea of ownership, that Oroonoko/Caesar believes that Trefry's slaves are his property and he may do with them as he wishes. Conclusion The final scenes of Oroonoko are the most interesting and solidify the idea that the novel is not an anti-slavery text.As the narrator initially describes Oroonoko, her Eurocentric values become apparent.Much emphasis is placed on Oroonoko's education and appearance, deliberately distinguishing him from other slaves and making him valuable based on European ideals.One can go as far as to say that Behn is rationalizing slavery, suggesting that these slaves are intrinsically submissive and in need of a master.Behn's lack of opposition towards slavery is also shared by Oroonoko himself.With English readers in mind, Behn describes Oroonoko in a favorable, even glorified, manner so that these readers can acknowledge him as a heroic prince.For example, Oroonoko has a French tutor to educate him in all areas, from science to etiquette. Middle There is no further mention of these slaves sold with Oroonoko. Introduction Veronica Gorlovsky LI 203 Professor Dulgarian June 7, 2011 Analyzing Oroonoko: An Anti-Slavery Text?Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, published in the late 1600s, was undoubtedly progressive for its time.

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