Oroonoko

By Aphra Behn

I. The story of Oroonoko was one of great passion and loyalty. The story of

Oroonoko and Imoinda began with him approaching her claiming his undying love
for her. That she was the one and only that he would ever need. Only she would
suffice in his heart. Throughout the story Oroonoko exhibits great power ,
strength and control. A love that started out as beautiful and innocent and
ended with that same beautiful innocence. Her passionate descriptions of their
emotions intensifies the awful ending. The final scene with brutality and death.

Throughout he faces many tragic thing that would break a man. He loses his wife
to the king, is convinced that the king has killed her, and he is sold into
slavery. However, he still stands with faith and strength to go on. He still
determines hi future of what is going to happen to him. Like the tiger his heart
has been struck many times but he decides he will continue to live. As a strong
man he thought of future consequences such as when he led the slave revolt he
knew that Imoinda would be left behind if they were to kill him. The thought of
her and her child alone was his Achilles heel. In my opinion this is what killed
him. His weakness Imoinda. Imoinda trusts Oroonoko to prove her love for him,

"...with all the passion and languishment of a dying lover, drew his knife to
kill this treasure of his soul....with joy she should die by so noble a
hand..."(Behn 2190). With this gesture Imoinda proves her true and everlasting
love. But true love is never left without some sort of feeling of grief. Due to
this feeling of grief Oroonoko laid by her side for some amount of days by her
side suffering for what he had done to her. II. Criticism towards Oroonoko is a
array of descriptions. From disapproval to praise. During Aphra Behn’s time
women writers were not an accepted in society as professional writers. Aphra
made a mark for women by becoming the first woman to make a living of writing.

You could say she was the first feminist. Her stories were rather risqué. She
wrote about politics to love and lust. She has been widely praised by women as

Virginia Wolf wrote "all women together ought let flowers fall upon the tomb
of Aphra Behn." Much of her writing came from personal things that she either
saw or experienced. One critic said, "The personal experiences,
autobiographical form, heightened interest, and the pictures painted from actual
scenes and people added color to the narration." This is what seemed to catch
the critics attention. These colorful displays of people and events were written
out so well that the reader had a personal feel to what they were reading.

Another thing that was criticized was the development of her writing that it was
not to fast and not to slow to lose the writers interest. The number of
characters was a smart touch not to many to keep up with and easy to remember.

Another critic from Evangeline Blashfield said, "...the novel has an accent of
truth, as well as an atmosphere of realism." The reality of the story makes it
a story to easily relate to seeing that life is not often perfect. III. Behn’s
writing in my opinion was the foundation for women to come. Behn’s writing
proves the strength and the imagination that women have for anything they put
there minds and hearts to. As I read the story it was laid out perfectly. It was
not over drawn with detail nor was it lacking. You had enough descriptions of
the characters ad their emotions. The passion is enough to pull you into what
they are feeling and what lessons they are learning. Behn used allot of
symbolism within the story. For example the heart of the tiger which was found
with several bullets within still was able to survive. The animal was able to
survive e due to that it still wanted to live. This symbolizes Oroonoko will to
still live after everything has happened to him. Behn is very highly acclaimed
for all that she has accomplished through her writings. She use her own pain of
experiences to paint a picture of love. My final feeling towards this novel was
one of hope and sadness that the only way that love in reality seems to work is
through such harsh consequences. Through ones jealousy or through any obstacle
one is let with only one