Oroonoko Questions and Answers
by Aphra Behn

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What is Behn's representation of slavery in the novel Oroonoko?

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Aphra Behn clearly regards it as a misfortune to be a slave, particularly for a great man like Oroonoko. However, she does not appear to be particularly horrified by the existence of the slave trade or the way in which it is conducted, which she describes in rather pragmatic terms. She does not spend a lot of time dwelling on the grim conditions of the slaves' existence. When Oroonoko is reunited with Imoinda, they both bewail their enslavement but seem to regard it chiefly as a fall from their former greatness, rather than as a monstrous condition for any human being. They quickly decide that "even fetters and slavery were soft and easy, and would be supported with joy and pleasure, while they could be so happy to possess each other." Love, therefore, is more important than freedom.

Behn's principal objection to the enslavement of Oroonoko seems to be her belief in kingship rather than a hatred of slavery...

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Aphra Behn,s Oroonoko presents slavery as an inhumane entity. This is revealed through the maltreatments that those captured as slaves received in the hands of their masters. also, Behn presents slavery as condition that leads to the loss of human identity. We perceive this when oroonoko and other characters had to be given new names  as a way of ushering them into an entirely new religion with its new sets of beliefs  But let me add that, some scholars may treat this same issue as that of a clash of cultures.

Through this book, Behn also brings reveals how effectively the slave masters engaged the tool of persuasion in the acquisition of slaves. this is evident in how Orooko and his friends were lured into the ship and later captured as slaves. This tool of deception and persuasion was further developed when orooko and his friends demanded for their release on their way to the farms. they were promised freedom but this promise was never honored.  

Behn aslo presented slaver as not an entity that was totally implemented by Westerners.  She revealed the role played by some inluencial natives also did facilitate this inhuman transaction. This we see in the selling of Immuenda by Oroonoko's grandfather into slavery.