When analyzing Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, many theorists focus on the ideology of the ‘other’ portrayed through the characters, Oroonko and Imoinda. They are typically considered separate from the white colonists, due to their color as well as their different beliefs. A closer look at the text reveals that Oroonoko and Imoinda are not just ‘others’ to the colonists, but to their own people as well. They are a hybrid of both worlds, portraying Western traits in Coramantien and African qualities in Surinam. Unfortunately, they are unable to deviate from either world and, when they try, it brings about their deaths. Oroonoko and Imoinda are not just ‘other,’ but rather they are hybrids of both cultures. Their attempt to fit in with either world, thus shedding their Western-African personas, ends in their destruction.
Erin Casey, ’09 Lynwood, IL
Majors: English, Secondary Education
Sponsor: Shannon Reed