Oroonoko Questions and Answers
by Aphra Behn

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What are Aphra Behn's attitudes towards race in the beginning of "Oroonoko" where she describes the native inhabitants, as opposed to in the end where she describes the native again quite differently?

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Oroonoko is the tragic story of slavery, love, and death. Behn's ability to describe the natives in such amazing detail, gives us interesting details about how she felt about race. At the beginning of the story, the natives are described in a beautiful, friendly manner. She describes in a very gentle way, how the slaves are brought to the English colony, giving us the impression that they were all treated good and fair. She goes on to describe how she and the other missionaries had such a good relationship with the natives:

"Tis fir I tell you the manner of bringing them to these new colonies; how they make use of not being natives of the place: for those we live with in perfect amity, with out daring to command 'em, but, on the contrary, caress 'em with all the brotherly and friendly affection in the world."

At the beginning of the story she talks about how the natives and the slaves live in unity together. She does go on to tell us the story of when she met Oroonoko. He was a beautiful...

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