Two Views of Slavery

1006 Words Jun 25th, 2018 5 Pages
Two Views of Slavery During the time prior to the twentieth century our world accepted slavery as a normal part of life. Aphra Behn and Phillis Wheatley, both female authors born about 100 years apart, had their own views of slavery and wrote poems and stories about the subject. These women were physically different, Aphra was a Caucasian, and Phillis was an African American, and their lives were rather different as well. Aphra was a spy and playwright, who lived the middle class life and Phillis, was a slave who was taken from her homeland, brought to America, sold into slavery, then later freed. I believe that both writers’ views were difficult to figure out, especially by just reading their works.
Phillis was born in Senegal/Gambia and
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(Behn 180)
Although her description makes Oroonoko seem rather stunning, it is a rather disrespectful description to the native Negro people. Her description makes it sound like slaves are not equal and due to fact that Oroonoko was a Prince, they did not put him in the same category as the other slaves and treated him with decency and respect, almost as if it was a double standard. Her story gets even more confusing when Oroonoko is kidnapped and sold into slavery himself by the same person that once helped Oroonoko traffic slaves. After he was captured and enslaved, he is treated humanely by his captor, which seems rather odd since most other slaves were treated very poorly. He is renamed Caesar (slaves were renamed at that time), I assume for his strength and nobility. Once at the slave camp, “he is received more like a governor than a slave” (Behn 209). He was even given land away from the other slaves, as if to separate him and treat him more like a king. He then finds his love, Imoinda living in a cottage with a cute little dog, which paints a very pretty picture, almost like a fairy tale, which again, is in sharp contrast of most depictions of slave quarters during this time. Caesar has elaborate feasts prepared in his honor, and it seems that there is, for lack of a better word, a party atmosphere in the camp. He was also given more freedoms than the slaves he must live with; he is even allowed to accompany the narrator of the story on a trip
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