Oroonoko By Aphra Behn I. The story of Oroonoko was one of great passion and loyalty. The story of Oroonoko and Imoinda began with him approaching her claiming his undying love for her. That she was the one and only that he would ever need. Only she would suffice in his heart.

Throughout the story Oroonoko exhibits great power , strength and control. A love that started out as beautiful and innocent and ended with that same beautiful innocence. Her passionate descriptions of their emotions intensifies the awful ending. The final scene with brutality and death. Throughout he faces many tragic thing that would break a man.

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He loses his wife to the king, is convinced that the king has killed her, and he is sold into slavery. However, he still stands with faith and strength to go on. He still determines hi future of what is going to happen to him. Like the tiger his heart has been struck many times but he decides he will continue to live. As a strong man he thought of future consequences such as when he led the slave revolt he knew that Imoinda would be left behind if they were to kill him. The thought of her and her child alone was his Achilles heel.

In my opinion this is what killed him. His weakness Imoinda. Imoinda trusts Oroonoko to prove her love for him, “..with all the passion and languishment of a dying lover, drew his knife to kill this treasure of his soul…with joy she should die by so noble a hand..”(Behn 2190). With this gesture Imoinda proves her true and everlasting love. But true love is never left without some sort of feeling of grief.

Due to this feeling of grief Oroonoko laid by her side for some amount of days by her side suffering for what he had done to her. II. Criticism towards Oroonoko is a array of descriptions. From disapproval to praise. During Aphra Behns time women writers were not an accepted in society as professional writers. Aphra made a mark for women by becoming the first woman to make a living of writing.

You could say she was the first feminist. Her stories were rather risqu. She wrote about politics to love and lust. She has been widely praised by women as Virginia Wolf wrote “all women together ought let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn.” Much of her writing came from personal things that she either saw or experienced. One critic said, “The personal experiences, autobiographical form, heightened interest, and the pictures painted from actual scenes and people added color to the narration.” This is what seemed to catch the critics attention. These colorful displays of people and events were written out so well that the reader had a personal feel to what they were reading. Another thing that was criticized was the development of her writing that it was not to fast and not to slow to lose the writers interest.

The number of characters was a smart touch not to many to keep up with and easy to remember. Another critic from Evangeline Blashfield said, “..the novel has an accent of truth, as well as an atmosphere of realism.” The reality of the story makes it a story to easily relate to seeing that life is not often perfect. III. Behns writing in my opinion was the foundation for women to come. Behns writing proves the strength and the imagination that women have for anything they put there minds and hearts to. As I read the story it was laid out perfectly.

It was not over drawn with detail nor was it lacking. You had enough descriptions of the characters ad their emotions. The passion is enough to pull you into what they are feeling and what lessons they are learning. Behn used allot of symbolism within the story. For example the heart of the tiger which was found with several bullets within still was able to survive. The animal was able to survive e due to that it still wanted to live. This symbolizes Oroonoko will to still live after everything has happened to him.

Behn is very highly acclaimed for all that she has accomplished through her writings. She use her own pain of experiences to paint a picture of love. My final feeling towards this novel was one of hope and sadness that the only way that love in reality seems to work is through such harsh consequences. Through ones jealousy or through any obstacle one is let with only one way out. For star-crossed lovers of any time it seems the only way to be together is through the horrifying ending to their lives.

The peaceful reunion in heaven always leaves hope in the readers mind in this story.


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