Aphra Behn And The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of Olaudah Equiano

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Aphra Behn and Olaudah Equiano use their respective works, Oroonoko and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself, to attack the theory of imperialism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The term imperialism is defined by James Tully as a trifecta of arguments in support of European superiority in foreign countries: firstly, that all other cultures are inferior, secondly, that the course of nature will Europeanize all cultures, and lastly, that it is the duty of Europeans to bring their culture to others. Behn, a female writer in Britain in the 1600’s, and Equiano, a former slave in the 1700’s, both write with decidedly abolitionist undertones, both being very forward-thinking …show more content…
These two authors, with their decidedly different personal backgrounds and writing styles, offer a window into a time consumed with conflict. While the world was discussing the moral implications of slavery, many writers drew influence from their take on the topic. A woman and an African, neither particularly credited with complex mental functions at the time, both achieved great success in their writing careers. If one has read Oroonoko or The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself, it is clear that both of these individuals were incredibly talented with their control of the written word, but they also had a lot stacked against them, based on the common thought at the time. So, what is demonstrated within these works is not only a solid assault on contemporary morals, but conclusive proof that times of turmoil allow the world’s brightest minds to surface and be

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