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Word Count: 1,578
In Aphra Behns Oroonoko the author expresses her views on a African American slave openly and passionately which in the Seventeenth century was unsuited for a person let alone a woman to do By establishing the story from a first person account there becomes a juxtaposition of both author and character By doing so the reader is able to feel more passion and anguish towards Oroonoko rather than through some fictional fable Throughout the story Behn is also taking a stand for womens freedom of writing Not only is she presenting facts based on an African American she is taking the utmost liberty and honor in doing so and in turn she is able to convince the readers of her time that Oroonoko is more than just a slave he is a tragic hero Aphra Behn gives herself the authority to write about the life of a slave Oroonoko due to her encounters with him and hearing from Oroonoko himself the story of his life Behn establishes her authority within the opening lines and reminds her audience of her position as narrator by mentioning her personal role in the story In the first few lines Behn establishes her authority I was myself an eyewitness to a great part of what you will find here set down and what I could not be witness of I received from the mouth of the chief actor in this history the hero himself who gave us the whole transactions of his youth Demaria Jr 421 In this passage Behns portrays the authority of her subject matter She uses first person perspective and declares that she was indeed a personal acquaintance of Oroonoko himself and received from him his life story For the rest of Oroonokos story Behn was herself an eyewitness This passage also clarifies that the author and narrator are one entity Behn acknowledges that it is she who writes this story through her own narration
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