Scenes from the “Oroonoko” Book by Aphra Behn
Even though many of the scenes where the furious Oroonoko is involved are extremely violent, they are deeper than they seem. In the case where Oroonoko kills Imoinda, at first glance it seems that he looks like a ruthless beast. However, if you delve deeper, it becomes clear that Oroonoko is an extremely compassionate, caring and loving person. He thought that after his own death, a terrible execution awaits the girl. He could not afford to allow such an outcome, so he decided to kill her with his own hands in order to prevent shame and reprisals. This decision may seem cruel to the reader, but it cannot be taken out of the context of the traditions, customs and situations that have developed around the characters. An important element is that Imoinda holds the hero’s hand while making such a decision.
This means consent and acceptance of such an outcome, respectively, death turns into a necessary sacrifice, in which Oroonoko cannot be blamed. After what happened, the hero “now he looked on Imoinda as a polluted thing”, but not out of hatred, but out of awareness of everything that happened (Behn, 2003, p. 44). This scene is bloody and sad, but Oroonoko reveals himself as a wounded and spiritually refined person, which goes against his behavior. In addition, in relation to the entire story, this incident serves as a turning point that divided the soul and consciousness of the protagonist into before and after. Because of what happened, he became furious, cruel and vengeful, as if the human part of the Orinoco died along with Imoinda. Based on the foregoing, the main goal of this scene is not murder and bloodthirstiness, but the feelings and emotions of the hero, who seems very callous.
Behn, A. (2003). Oroonoko. Penguin Books Published.