Example Of Argumentative Essay On The Antiracism View As Portrayed In Oroonoko By Aphrabehn

Published: 2021-06-21 23:37:39
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Category: Literature, Slavery

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In the fictional text, AphraBehn portrays the colonial views in the negative, majorly opposing the existing vice among many of the nations. The author depicts Surinam as living in perfect peace yet the colonial extension spread throughout the land. In some way, the colonial masters and the slaves justified colonialism by making people believe that they lived in peace and understanding. However, the author notes that slavery was the most unfavorable idea among most of the people including the slaves and the masters. However, the text is not fully antislavery as the author gives a good account of Oroonoko in Europe. This paper analyzes the antiracism views analyzed by the author in Oroonoko as narrated AphraBehn.
Racial discrimination was one of the main depictions that the colonial masters used in order to treat the subjects unfairly.The author first notes that Oroonoka was a black man. In a way, his race influenced the way the colonialists treated him. The narrator gives an elegant description of Oroonoko, portraying him as a god and a good-looking man. In fact, her description of Oroonoko shows that he was lovable and attractive to any person. However, the colonialists still found reasons to torture him. They believed that he used his good looks to please the British women like the narrator who gave a resounding description of Oroonoko. In essence, the colonialists claimed that the fact that Oroonoko was black was bad enough for him not to interact with the British women (Anderson 111). This, according to the author, was racial segregation that went against the social norms in the society. The author notes that this was even better than other African people under colonialism experienced were. In most cases, the colonized people encountered racial abuse in public and referred to as animals in comparison to both domestic and wild animals.
According to the author, the colonial masters were driven by the fact that they were more powerful than the Africans were hence they misused their power. The mistreatments happen in different ways although all of them amount to misuse of power by the colonial masters. First, the author notes that the colonialists took their power to physically abuse the subjects. As much as they made up reasons to warrant the physical abuse, most of it was a result of their desire to stamp authority in everything that happened. The fact that they traded with the Africans and other colonial subjects as the commodities of exchange further shows the extent to which they misused theirpowers.The colonial masters treated the subjects as items of work, forcing them to work on the plantations. In a way, the author looks to divert from her condemnation and takes a rational look at the matter. She notes that the powerful people in the society will always manipulate the less powerful. This faults her previous view on the matter of negativity in colonialism.
Bannister is an example of the people who misused their powers largely. He shows a state of barbarism that shocks the narrator and the people largely. Being a member of Bryam’s elected council; he holds a huge position in the governance of the area. He holds Oroonoko and tells him that he will die like a dog (Behn 76). This shows an ultimate act of barbarism but also an act of misuse of power. His public proclamation of death for Oroonoko simply shows his inanimate nature and the fact that he was drained into using force and ruthless means in his leadership. To the shock of Bannister, Oroonoko replies that he had finally heard a white man tell the truth (Behn 77). This reaction is a different twist in the story as it shows that the subjects knew a lot more than the colonialists thought they did. They however waited for the best time for them to react to the ruthless treatment.
Most of the colonial masters and the people who tried befriending the colonial subjects and the slaves were two faced, siding with them only when there was no trouble, thus deserting them when they were in trouble. Oroonoko experienced a real flavor of this as all the white friends he could think about deserted him at the thought that their lives were in danger and that Bannister and Oroonoko had taken their conversation to a violent level. Trefry remains blind on the destiny and plight of the other slaves as he passively watches the collision between the two, although he was in charge of a group of slaves (Anderson 133). He passively defends Oroonoko but takes a neutral point in the whole story. The narrator also runs away. The author notes that the narrator promised her unfailing support for Oroonoko at all times. The whole nation feared him but at least she did not. However, at the point of need, she deserted him and he was tortured. The author notes that colonialism and the colonial masters established on grounds of favors that were never returned hence she opposed it completely.
Oroonoko is a narration of fictional view of the encounters of the colonial subjects and the slaves at the hands of the British colonialists. The author does not fully oppose colonialism though. She states that in most cases, the powerful people would have some level of authority over the rest. However, she opposes some of the actions of the colonial masters that totally undermined the subjects.She opposed the brutality of the colonial masters towards the subjects. Physically hurting the Africans like Oroonoko did not go well with the author. She also opposed the general dishonesty and failure to keep promises among the colonialists as way in the case of most Africans. Slave trade, pretense, and misuse of power also disturbed the author. The description of fictional reaction of Oroonoko to the Bannister shows the courage and resilience in the colonial subjects despite the harsh treatment they received. Oroonoko also said that he had finally heard a white man saying that he knew the deceptive and pretending nature of the white people.
Works cited
Anderson, Emily Hodgson. "Novelty In Novels: A Look At What's New In AphraBehn's Oroonoko." Studies In The Novel 1 (2007): 1.
Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko, Or, The Royal Slave. [Auckland, N.Z.]: The Floating Press, 2009

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