Sometimes people are more likely to agree with the things they are more familiar with, and have blind faith in the familiar one when comparing or competing with the things less familiar. Self(Europe)-centralized aesthetic without even hiding it, that was what I thought about the author on the process of reading this novel. But when I finish the whole book and think about the story, I had second thoughts: maybe it’s not that simple. Perhaps the world view of the author is indeed Europe centralized, but as a result, the Europe centralized world view was not only a status, but also was used by the author as a tool.
The author used this tool to create a process of “boiling the frog in cool water”, softly trapped the reader(Europeans) in an illusion that they are familiar with the world and the people in the story, which they were actually not. The European readers would easily accept that the story might very well be true. In addition, the form of novel seemed not popular yet at that time of the world, so unlike today, readers wouldn’t naturally assume this is just a tail that is not likely to be true. All of that will engage the reader to have a high possibility to agree with what the author actually suggests.
There is an order of logic in the whole book:
1.First assume all readers are Europeans, and then express the view of “Europe equals good”, which makes the European readers naturally agrees with the author, and feels comfortable about the view and story that they’re about to read.(eg.88,96)
2.Giving the expression that Oroonoko is basically like a European Prince, and Imoinda is more or less like a European noble lady, leading the European readers to admire them in a way of admiring their own nobles.(eg.97,98,163)
3.When reader starts to accept the setting of “this is a real love story that happens in our life”, the author begins to reveal her true opinion, but instead of telling it directly, she guides the reader to initiate the same kind of feeling.(eg.90,144,152,207)
4.When readers start to wonder if their own people commonly act so dishonorable in the colonies, the author reveals the answer, and shows the bloody end of the story, which would really shock the reader’s feeling. And due to the successful Europeanize of Oronooko, the readers might have the expression of “They killed somebody who is just like my neighbor, and this inhuman sin is done when no one is breaking any law of my country?” And this will naturally lead to the consideration of improving and changing the law of colonies and slavery in order to prevent such thing to happen again.(eg.216,226)
The author did not instill any opinion in the whole story, she simply shows the reader the world they are familiar and quite agree with, and later on reveals how horrible can it be in the very same world. She makes the reader think and review their own world view without telling them to do so. It is the compact design of the author, a great skill that I should study of.