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ERIC Number: EJ1127691
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2203-4714
Oroonoko: A "Royal Slave" and/or a Master of Dignity
Biswas, Banani
Advances in Language and Literary Studies, v6 n4 p208-215 Aug 2015
This paper involves a study on Aphra Ben's "Oroonoko" (1688) which is considered by many as the first black narrative of English literature, an abolitionist text, while observed by some others as extremely colonialist. The objective of this study is to examine why the novella accommodates such contradictory readings. It assumes that it is the "scriptiblity" of the text that enables it encompassing heterogeneous meanings which should not be reduced to any privileged interpretation. It holds that "Oroonoko" is interwoven with multiple codes which serve as different socio-cultural agents proliferating variety of meanings often disseminating one another. In order to explore those intervening meanings, this study applies Barthesian codes for reading narratives. Then, drawing upon deconstructionist approach, it surmises neither the text nor its protagonist, Oroonoko, should be categorized into any absolute category. On the contrary, it asserts "Oroonoko" informs the postmodernist/plural concept of "being," embracing a variety of identities from the "royal slave" to the "master of dignity."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A