Slavery In Aphra Behn's Exploration Into Surinam

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Aphra Behn's exploration into Surinam and seeing their way of life and rich culture helped influence the creation of Oroonoko. Much of the novel has an in-depth relation with Surinam's way of life and their social status. Behn creates a story that involves the very nature of Slavery during the 1640's and the impact it had on their society. Throughout the novel, Oroonoko is tricked, lied and stripped of his rights as a human to serve as a prisoner in the slave trade. Despite the unique characteristics Oroonoko has, he is still considered to be a slave and must take drastic measures to protect his family. In the novel, it manages to create its own world that symbolizes real world problems during Aphra Behns lifetime because of the relation to…show more content…
Reiteration of the theme can let the reader understand the importance of the topic in their society, but also from all over the world. In the novel, Aphra uses another description of the inhumane acts from the British Government. In order to shed more light on the Government and their affair of slave trade, Behn shows the perspective of Oroonko questioning the very business and integrity of the British officials. She begins by writing, "And why, said he, my dear friends and fellow suffers, should we be slaves to an unknown people? Have they vanquished us nobly in fight? Have they won us in honorable battle? And are we by the chance of war become their slaves? This would not anger a noble heart, this would not animate a soldier's soul. No, but are bought and sold like apes or monkeys, to be the sport of women, fools and cowards, and the support of rogues. Runagades that have abandonded their own countries for raping, murders, theft and villainies. Do you not hear every day how they upbraid each other with infamy of life, below the wildest savages? And shall we render obedience to such a degenerate race, who have no one human virtue left to distinguish them from the vilest creatures? Will you, I say, suffer the lash from such hands? (Behn Pg.62) In this monologue spoken by Oroonoko, he is giving a powerful speech to the other slaves to inspire them to fight back. Not only…show more content…
Both Governments profited by the horrible slave trade business and the morale being little to none for their representatives. Both Governments cared more about making a profit and increasing their revenue than the very human rights that each person is entitled too, Behn sees this and decides to shed light on the issue. Aphra Behn writing about these social issues in a fiction novel was the first of its kind during her time period, it allowed her to creatively inform the public of the perspectives of slaves and the nightmare that they lived in. The novels influence in her era was not accepted at first because it was not the traditional story. However, as time went on, the novel was finally appreciated for what it stood for and the issues it brought up. Behns perspective filled the story entirely, which influenced readers to also question the very structure of slave trade and how inhumane the business is. Oroonoko put the British Government on the hot seat for its controversial business structure and laid the foundation for other authors to also question their own government. Allowing literature to creatively question the very social norm is important to allow progress in the world. Behn knew the only way to connect with her readers on a sensitive topic was to allow her novel to be creative as possible, enabling her to become one the first people the

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