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Critical Evaluation - Essay Example

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The critical review of Anita Pacheco’s ‘Royalism and honor in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko’ clearly identifies the central thesis – “that the ideology of [Oroonoko] is royalist and also that its effort at ‘ideological closure’ is undermined by its continuity with the…
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Critical Evaluation
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Download file to see previous pages Focusing too much on Pacheco’s argument that Behn’s novella is ‘Eurocentric’ and ‘class-biased’, the review fails to provide a balanced view of Pacheco’s commentary, and leaves the reader clueless about Pacheco’s objective in writing the essay– exposing the political agenda underlying Behn’s novella, and its failure in achieving an ideological closure.
The review begins with a clearly stated objective of exploring the main points of Pacheco’s essay and analysing its strengths and weaknesses; however, proceeds to describe Pacheco’s arguments and illustrations that suggest Behn’s hero as ‘Eurocentric’ and ‘royalist.’ A significant portion of the review is spent on summarising Pacheco’s viewpoints, and presents little attempt to analyse or interpret Pacheco’s observation in the backdrop of her thesis or the primary text. At many places like when describing Pacheco’s comments on ‘Europeanizing the African’ and Behn’s approach to slavery, the reviewer simply repeats Pacheco’s words as in a simple narration of the article, without quoting the author, or interpreting the implications of Pacheco’s observations. The review is totally oblivious of Pacheco’s commentary on Oroonoko’s treatment of honour and its instability within the upper-class/royalist discourse due to the religious implications, which according to her eventually leads to the undermining of the novel’s royalist ideology. While the review provides crucial insights into the perspective of Pacheco’s analysis, it does not endeavour to assess or evaluate the strength or weakness of her claims or offer a comprehensive framework for the readers to make the assessment themselves.
Though the reviewer make a note of other works that substantiate Pacheco’s thesis such as that by Guffey, the commentary fails to provide a comparative perspective with other works for the reader to assess the merit and significance of Pacheco’s study. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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