Oroonoko Symbols and Motifs

Aphra Behn


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Oroonoko Symbols and Motifs

Children and Parents

Images of children and parents operate as another dimension of the discourse of civilization in the novella. The Surinamese are described as children, in awe of the strange Europeans in their midst, while the more knowledgeable English visitorsare in the position of parents, teaching the native people. Children then represent innocence and ignorance—a lack of civilization—whereas parents represent the knowledge and authority that come with civilization.

Natural Resources 

There are a number of passages describing the landscape and wildlife of Surinam. In part, these contribute to the narrator’s claim to truth, as they underscore her knowledge of the place….

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