Surinam & The Garden of Eden

Dublin Core


Surinam & The Garden of Eden


Description of the Surinam Natives


The narrator gives her account of the physical and psychological profile of the Surinamese natives in Oroonoko. She draws comparisons to the Garden of Eden before the Original Sin.


Aphra Behn


Behn, Aphra, and Janet Todd. Oroonoko. Penguin Books, 2003.




Maxim Geller


Oroonoko by Aphra Behn; The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith; Paradise Lost by John Milton; Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden; Sea Captains Carousing in Suriname by John Greenwood


Paperback book




Restoration Era

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"Some of the beauties which indeed are finely shaped, as almost all are, and who have pretty features, are charming and novel, for they have all that is called beauty, except the colour, which is a reddish yellow or after a new oiling, which they often use to themselves, they are of the color of a new brick, but smooth, soft, and sleek. They are extreme modest and bashful, very shy, and nice of being touched. And though they are all thus naked, if one lives forever among them there is not to be seen an undecent action or glance; and being continually used to see one another so unadorned, so like our first parents before the Fall, it seems as if they had no wishes, there being nothing to heighten curiosity, but all you can see, you see at once, and every moment see; and where there is no novelty, there can be no curiosity...and it is most evident and plain that simple Nature is the most harmless, inoffensive, and virtuous mistress. It is she alone, if she were permitted, that better instructs the world than all the inventions of man; religion would here but destroy that tranquility they possess by ignorance, and laws would but teach them to know offense, of which now they have no notion.”


Aphra Behn, “Surinam & The Garden of Eden,” Enlightenmens, accessed December 2, 2022,

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