Discuss the horrors of slavery presented in ‘’Oroonoko.’’
Introduction: Aphra Behn (1640- 1689) highlights the terrible consequences of Slavery through the novel Oroonoko. He portrays the slavery system in the novel Oroonoko. The gruesome scene of slavery is highlighted by the death of Imoinda and Oroonoko. The horrors of slavery are discussed below.
Insecurity: The security of slavery is like a bird’s nest. Slavery has no security, just as a bird’s nest has no security. We see in the novel Imoinda is sold to a man named Terfry. Terfry tried several times to forcefully destroy Imoinda’s Chastity. In the novel, we see that there is no safety and freedom in the life of slavery.
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Death of Imoinda: Oroonoko thinks that if he dies, Imoinda may be a victim of the nasty lusts of an Englishman and may face shameful death. So, he plans that first, he kills Imoinda, and then he takes revenge on Byam and others who are responsible for their tragic life. Oroonoko says to Imoinda that if they want to destroy the slavery system, first she will be sacrificed her own life. Being a dutiful, loving wife, she agrees with him and falls at his feet in gratitude for arranging such an honorable way for her spirit. Oroonoko then embraced her with all passion. Then he readies with his knife to kill his beloved wife and cut her throat with a broken heart
Insecurity generation after generation: There is no liberation in the life of slavery. We all know that the king’s son is king. Similarly, the sons and daughters of slaves have to be enslaved. We can analyze that if Oroonoko had not rebelled for liberation he would not have died. He had to endure horrible torture. From this we can explain nicely, there is no liberation in the life of slavery. This slavery continues from one generation to the next generation.
The torture of slavery: Oroonoko’s novel depicts the kind of torture that enslaved 18th-century slaves. Female maids were forcibly deprived of their chastity. Men were beaten. If they had tried to escape for the first time, they would have been saved but many would have been tortured. Oroonoko’s death is the ultimate example of the oppression of slavery. Under the instruction of Byam, Banister first cuts Oroonoko’s genitals and throws them into the fire. Then the other white men cut his ears and nose and then again throw them into the fire. At that time, Oroonoko smokes continuously. Finally, his arms and legs are cut and he dies. At last, his body is cut into pieces. Then, the pieces of his body are sent to many chiefs of the Surinam colony.
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Conclusion: From all the above discussion, we can say that the horrific scenes and tortures of slavery are revealed through the novel Oroonoko. Extreme horror has been expressed by the death of Oroonoko.