Oroonoko by Aphra Behn attempts to give a view of slavery using first person narration and a wealth of realistic detail to make us empathize with the travails of the hero. The eponymous hero of the novel, Oroonoko, is a Prince in his own country, brave, well-educated, loyal and capable of profound love. After being enslaved and sold through the duplicity of an English ship's master, Oroonoko is reunited with his beloved, and upon hearing his story, the governor promises that Oroonoko and Imoinda will be granted freedom and sent back to their homeland.
Oroonoko, however, distrusts the promises of the governor, and leads a slave revolt during which he and Imoinda obtain temporary freedom. Next, during the revolt, the governor promises that in return for surrendering, Oroonoko will not be punished. Immediately upon his surrender, the governor has him tied to a stake and whipped so badly that all of the flesh is stripped from his bones in some places, breaking the terms of the treaty.