Daniel Defoe 's Robinson Crusoe Essay

Daniel Defoe 's Robinson Crusoe Essay

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Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe explores the concept of overcoming adversity to eventually gain a higher role of power. Robinson Crusoe was to lead a mundane life pursuing a career in law, had he followed his parents’ wishes and not been adamant about living a life at sea. However, going against his parents’ wants, he fashioned a life for his own at sea. Crusoe spends the majority of the novel building a life for himself that he would have not been able to have had he stayed in York. He became a plantation owner in Brasil, which is what lead to the shipwreck that caused him to become a castaway. While on the island he was shipwrecked on, he began to view himself as a Lord, or “Governour” (225), of the island. This novel explores the concept of becoming your own person and making a different life for yourself. Crusoe, in his mind, becomes the ruler of this island he was shipwrecked on and ruler of the people who begin to populate it.
Crusoe first begins to envision himself as a Lord after living on the Island for ten years. Crusoe gives a comical image to describe his situation, “It would have made a Stoick smile to have seen, me and my little Family sit down to Dinner; there was my Majesty the Prince and Lord of the whole Island; I had the Lives of all my Subjects at my absolute Command” (125), as his “subjects” were in fact animals that were with him on the island. While trying to make light of his situation by saying this, he does believe that his Island is his dominion. This moment in the novel shows the beginnings of Crusoe’s belief that he can be a monarch on his Island. He speaks of his animals as servants: “… Poll, as if he had been my Favourite, was the only Person permitted to talk to me. My Dog …, sat always at my Right ...


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...paniard, who was supposedly in cohabitation with the Savages, was brought here to be eaten, the same could possibly happen to Crusoe if he went to that island with Friday. Crusoe is referred to as “Governour” by the Captain of an English ship whose crew had mutinied, and the Captain refers to the island as an English colony. This is the final title of power Crusoe is given before finally leaving his island and returning to England.
Robinson Crusoe spent many years on the island trying to find ways to get off of it and return home, yet when he finally returns home and finds he has a small fortune that was waiting for him, he had to “resist the strong Inclination [he] had to see [his] Island” (256). He built a type of life for himself on that island that he would not have been able to achieve had he stayed in York or Brasil, despite his plantation becoming profitable.

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