Oroonoko attributes, is wrongly made a slave. He

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Last updated: December 26, 2019

Oroonoko is portrayed as a good man throughout the novel. He had “The civility of a well-bred great man. He had nothing of barbarity in his nature”. He values European culture, and is educated: “He had heard of the late Civil wars in England, and the deplorable death of our great monarch”. Behn consciously separates Oroonoko from the other slaves and uses European standards of beauty to make Oroonoko’s character likeable and handsome, “His nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat. His mouth, the finest shaped that could be seen: far from those great turned lips, which are so natural to the rest of the Negroes”. Behn suggests that Oroonoko is exempt from being a slave because of these attributes, explaining that, “Oroonoko was as capable even of reigning well, and of governing as wisely” and “sensible of power as any prince civilized in the most refined schools of humanity and learning” his hierarchy in society as a general separates him from the “negroes” because “he spoke French and English”.

Behn later proceeds to portray slavery in a serious

At this point, Behn understands that slavery is wrong, and appears to be anti – slavery in her narrative about Imoinda. On the other hand, she states earlier “I have seen an hundred white men sighing after her”, so it is possible that it is only her beauty that enables her from slavery. As with the Indians, if Oroonoko didn’t have traits that were of value to Behn and the English then he would only be seen as the other “negroes” who may be enslaved in their view.

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