Oroonoko

Oroonoko and abolitionism

Is this an anti-slavery novel? If so, how? If not, why not? Are there any examples in the book that are more significant than others?

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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.)

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