Oroonoko: An Authoritative Text, Historical Backgrounds, Criticism Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. In Act I, Scene I, who is disguised as a man and why?

Lucy's sister is disguised as a man so that she can make a proper claim to property in Surinam, which is easier to do as a man because women do not have as many rights.

2. Why did Lucy and Welldon leave London and come to Surinam?

The two sisters came to Surinam in search of husbands because all the young men in London have forgotten them, deeming them to be too old, even though they are still in their twenties.

3. Where are the two sisters living and how is this an advantage for them?

The two sisters have claimed kinship to man who has just died and left behind an estate. They are now living in this estate and it is an advantage to them because they can now travel in the right circles and be regarded with respect. This will make it easier for them to find husbands amongst those with higher status.

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