Romantic Obsession in Oroonoko

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Natasha Germain
Prof. McMaster
2 October 2012
ENGL 3535
Reality Shaped by Romantic Obsession:
Examine the Effects of Social Hierarchy on the Female Voice in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko

The narrative perspective of Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko attempts to tell this travel journal from the first person perspective. The female narrative voice is what pushes and pulls the readers in all directions through her detailed log of colonialism. The importance of the first person perspective in Oroonoko is it allows the reader to see the story through her perspective allowing them to question the validity of her tales entrancing them in everyday speech. She seeks control over Oroonoko and Imonida in times where she feels threatened to assure the readers that she is the primary character. Although she expresses multiple times in the text that her tales are true it is the reader’s job to question her credentials. Because of Behn’s gender she struggled that much more with trying to become a writer, she needs to remind her readers that although she may be a female portraying the stereotyped lady-like innocence it does not change the facts of her story. She tries to add some normalcy and realism to her text to help drive the readers into the story with stressing the importance of class on independence and freedom. As well, she tries to make the reader sympathize with her while avoiding negative association. The narrative voice in Oroonoko can be described as an inclusive narrative however she is also intrusive to the reader which can be observed in her writing style which is similar to everyday speech. In this paper I will argue that society has a brainwashing consequence on the female narrator as she described the beauties and justifiability behind their cruel acts; however, the life of Oroonoko is tragic and succumbs to the attempted control of his sublime power of thought. In a predominant patriarchal society, It have a negating factor on the perception and values of the female...
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