Oronooko by Aprha Behn

751 Words Feb 3rd, 2018 3 Pages
Though Behn’s narrator demonizes the colonialists, she also displays Eurocentric views through her observations. Oronooko himself is described in great detail and with heroic traits, but these separate him from the general people of his homeland, crediting his best features to European influence. By presenting Oronooko as a “European-style” hero, the narrator unwittingly makes him a hypocritical character, one that has been assimilated to the Europeans and shows the narrator’s own ambivalence towards slavery and race. The description of Oroonoko’s features is where it becomes evident that he is not similar to the rest of his people. The narrator says that he is “adorned with a native beauty, so transcending all those of his gloomy race”, and that his skin “was not of that brown rusty black which most of that nation are”. The best qualities of him that she lists are typical to Europeans, such as “his nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat. His mouth the finest shaped…far from those great turned lips which are so natural to [negroes].” When referring to his intellect, she says that he is as capable as “any prince civilized in the most refined schools of humanity and learning, or the most illustrious courts”, which are European educational standards. By upholding his value with European standards,…
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