The Heroic Values in Robinson Crusoe

1027 Words5 Pages
It is impossible to study Robinson Crusoe without first knowing the story behind its creator. Narrative of Robinson Crusoe and Daniel Defoe are very similar, at least in terms of adventure, breaking the rules and setting the new ones. Daniel Foe, or Defoe, as he afterwards called himself, was born in or about 1659, in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. Socially, his position differed from that of his greatest contemporaries in literature. By inheritance and conviction he was a Dissenter in religion; by occupation he belonged to the trading, or merchant class. And, most importantly, his origins with the middle class influenced his writing greatly, for Defoe wrote for and about middle-class society. Defoe's life was charged with the spirit of adventure. He was "ever a fighter;" and, although he was the most prolific English writer of his time, he was no scholarly recluse, but first and last a practical man, who took an active and not unimportant part in the daily work of the world. The spirited stories of life and adventure with which, towards the close of his career, he captivated his readers, were the work of one whose own experience was won outside the walls of a library or a university, one who had stood in the pillory, and had been two years in prison; who had owned a splendid mansion and kept his pleasure-boat and his coach; a man who had been at one time the trusted adviser of a grateful King, and at another an object of hatred, abuse, and contempt. He was one who could write of himself: "No man has tasted differing fortunes more, And thirteen times I have been rich and poor;" The Economic Individualism Robinson Crusoe is the first modern English novel, in the true sense of the word. It also the first novel wh... ... middle of paper ... ...nomic advantage. Conclusion Therefore, it can be said that Crusoe has left its mark on the canvas of English literature, Crusoe certainly, but more importantly, his creator, Defoe as well. The novel is most certainly fiction, even though its creator pledged it to be true, but we cannot help feeling some echoes of truth in it. Perhaps it’s in Defoe’s tendency to identify himself with his protagonist; his own life, too, had been one of solitary and heroic achievement against great odds. As Defoe so articulately summarized it; loneliness of the island and our loneliness in the world are one and the same thing: “... it seems to me that life in general is, or ought to be, but one universal act of solitude. Everything revolves in our minds by innumerable circular motions, all centering in ourselves ... we love, we hate, we covet, we enjoy, all in privacy and solitude.”

More about The Heroic Values in Robinson Crusoe

Open Document