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Oroonko An Abolitionist Novel Analysis

Decent Essays
Slavery is something most people have heard about in some capacity. That being said, most people are aware of the horrors in which slaver entails. Slavery is not something that is common today, but once, it was a cultural norm. Over the years there have been many novels and stories written about slavery. One of the classics, Orooonko, is a short but complex tale on slavery in years’ past. It has been argued for years if Oroonoko can be considered an abolitionist novel or not. While not everything written about slavery can be an abolitionist novel, this novel is an exception. While this is just an opinion, there is clear evidence that supports this claim. Oroonoko can be considered an abolitionist novel based on the opinions,…show more content…
At one point in time, slavery was everywhere. It was lurking behind every corner and seen in almost every home. As far as the people of this time were concerned, slavery was the best thing to ever happen. In retrospect, this may not have been the consensus, but at the time this was popular thought. While this was popular opinion, that did not come across as such throughout the novel. Based on the language used to talk about slavery, this novel did not support the usage and treatment of slaves. Throughout the novel, Behn shows how terrible slavery really was. For example, Aphra writes about Oroonoko’s time on the boat. In this scene, Oroonoko was promised his freedom when the captain said, “and set both him and his friends ashore on the next land they should touch at.”_ This however was not the case. They were not set free at the next land they touched. “Oroonoko was seized and sold to our overseer, who had the first lot.”_ In this passage, it is clear that slaves were treated as property and not people. By including these excerpts on slavery, it is clear that this novel did not follow the popular opinion on slavery. While this novel has important views on slavery, Aphra Behn had her own opinions. Aphra Behn’s views on slavery did not fit the popular opinion. Based on the introduction that details the life Behn, her views contradicted the
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