Ourika: An English Translation - Introduction by Joan DeJean, University of Pennsylvania Summary & Analysis

Claire de Duras
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Introduction by Joan DeJean, University of Pennsylvania Summary

Ourika by Claire de Duras is a fictional novel based on a true story about a young slave girl from Senegal who is raised and protected by a wealthy French family shortly before the French Revolution. Ourika does not realize her dependent status until she overhears her benefactress discussing it with her friend. She is stricken with despair upon realizing that, despite her intelligence and numerous talents, her race ensures that she will have no future, and this despair ultimately takes her life. Ourika recounts the heartrending tale of a young woman whose race combined with the superior education she has received causes her to feel "cut off from the entire human race" (p. 16).

Claire-Louise Lechat de Coetnempren de Kersaint was born into the class and generation to most intensely feel the effects of the...

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This section contains 742 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ourika: An English Translation Study Guide
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