Final Exam

Final Exam - Philip-Michael Weiner Date ENGL211 Black ENGL 211 Final Exam 1 Discuss the connection between race and wonder in Oroonoko In Aphra

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Date: 12/17/10 ENGL211 Black ENGL 211 Final Exam 1. Discuss the connection between race and “wonder” in Oroonoko. In Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko , race and wonder appear together and share the idea of the unknown. Every occurrence of a new race in the story appears simultaneously with the idea of the other. Behn described Oroonoko as being “more civilized than any other had been, and took more delight in the white nations, and, above all, men of parts and whit.” The “other” that Behn described is anyone who is not a white man. Oroonoko, who is black, is also delighted and in awe of the white nations. Mr. Trefry had the same reaction as Behn in Surinam when he saw Oroonoko for the first time on the ship. Trefry had never seen a slave of this stature. He is amazed and “wonders” about Oroonoko’s Roman looks. When Trefy and Oroonoko come upon the tribes in Surinam, the three races look at each other in amazement. Behn describes them as wonderful figures to behold. The use of the word wonder in relation to the interaction of other races switches the nature of the unknown. In the beginning, the other is the slave and the norm is white. However, when the races meet, Trefy and Oroonoko become the unknown. 2. How is Gulliver’s Travel a Satire? Gulliver's participation in what he sees as ridiculous activities modeling social behavior in England make Gulliver's Travels a social satire. Gulliver’s first voyages land him in countries that model English behavior and culture. The familiarity allows the reader to look at England at two extremes making the descriptions almost laughable. Gulliver provides perspective by landing on an island where the society resembles England but the people are ten times smaller than he is. The Lilliputians fill government offices with a petition to the King of the Lilliputs typically carried out by a “dance on the rope, and whoever jumps the highest, without failing, succeeds in the office.” Swift uses these descriptions to show how society acting exactly like England has ridiculous ways of filling government positions. The comicality of this is the fact that Gulliver is English and thinks these things to be ridiculous. As ridiculous as the process is Gulliver gains a title in the government and is proclaimed a “nardac,” which is the highest rank among the Lilliputians. It is Gulliver’s participation here that makes Gulliver’s Travels a satire. Gulliver provides comical reactions to all of these experiences on his voyages, but when he participates in the society and contradicts his previous reaction, he is saying something about the kinds of corrigible behavior that is happening in England. The descriptions are not meant to offend anyone living in English societies, but rather to provide a comical perspective for the reader. 3.
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2011 for the course ENGL 211 taught by Professor Black during the Spring '10 term at Maryland.

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Final Exam - Philip-Michael Weiner Date ENGL211 Black ENGL 211 Final Exam 1 Discuss the connection between race and wonder in Oroonoko In Aphra

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