Since Coetzee’s Foe can be considered a post-colonial critique of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the novels share very few similarities between the two Friday characters: Friday is a “cannibal” and he is the slave in the master-slave relationship he has with Robinson Cruso(e). But while there are only two significant similarities, the differences between the two Fridays are to such an extent that they seem like two entirely separate individuals. Everything from their physical appearance down to their behavior and interactions with other characters are all unique to each Friday. When Friday is first observed and described, it is clearly obvious that one was purposefully meant to contrast the other. In Defoe’s novel, Friday was described as “a...
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...re involved in a master-slave relationship, but that is the sole similarity. The novel Robinson Crusoe is an idealized castaway story created to captivate the mind of young boys and teach them what it takes to be a man. Coetzee’s Foe is a critique of Defoe’s novel and the castaway genre in general. Throughout his novel Coetzee enforces his argument that the castaway story is a myth because no one can ever truly know what happens unless that are there to witness the unfolding of events for themselves. For this reason, Coetzee is accusing Defoe of altering the truth in order to make a more enjoyable story for his audience. And as a consequence, Friday becomes a victim of alteration in order to fit a role. Friday becomes a victim of the castaway genre.
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Ed. Evan R. Davis. Peterborough: Broadview, 2010. Print.
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