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When Prince Oroonoko�s passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko�s noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn�s visit to Surinam, Oroonoko (1688) reflects the author�s romantic view of Native Americans as simple, superior peoples �in the first state of innocence, before men knew how to sin�. The novel also reveals Behn�s ambiguous attitude to African slavery � while she favoured it as a means to strengthen England�s power, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality.

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