How does Aphra Behn participate in the enslavement of Oroonoko?
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Oroonoko evidently is drawn from Behn's (likely) experiences as a young woman living in Surinam. It is written in a mixture of first and third person narration, and it does not flow strictly in a chronological manner but begins with the narrator's first-person account of Surinam as a British colony and with a description of its native people.
The narrator reports that the British cannot enslave the people because of their vast numbers; instead, to work the land, the colony has to import African labor. After this, the narrative switches to third-person narration, and the setting changes to Coramantien, today's Ghana, on the west coast of Africa, where we see local life and finally meet the protagonist, the young prince Oroonoko, who is shortly enslaved and transported to the British colony of Surinam. The story moves to Surinam and changes once again to first-person narration when Oroonoko meets the narrator. It continues in first-person narration with the narrator, when not on the scene, hearing firsthand accounts from those who are witnesses.
The final section of the story concerns Oroonoko's revolt and the horrible death of the hero, who is willing to die rather than bear the name of slave. This is one of British literature's earliest depictions of the "noble savage"--a person of innocence and true grace over against the contemporary city-dweller.
Oroonoko is notable for its groundbreaking depiction of the horrors of slavery, and it has come to be called one of literature's first abolitionist tracts. After Oroonoko rouses the sugar plantaion slaves to revolt, they are hunted down by the Island's Deputy-Governor and surrender. Despite the governor's promises, Oroonoko is whipped brutally, his flesh shred and pepper poured into his wounds. In an effort to regain his lost honor, Oroonoko feels compelled to take the life of his beloved wife Imoinda, who is carrying the child he would not have raised as a slave. His own horrid death by dismemberment is beyond description, and it served the abolitionist movement well. (Even so, readers should note that in the narrative, Oroonoko sells his own captives in war as slaves to the British.)