Defoe's novel, Robinson Crusoe relates one man's spiritual journey in search of self and his goal of setting things right and making amends. Finding the self may take a lifetime. It took twenty-eight years on the island for Robinson Crusoe to discover more about himself, and, of course, he had to wait that number of years before he could make up for past mistakes. However, we do not have an ocean preventing us from making amends, and if only readers were to open themselves to this book, for all its clumsiness, flat style and Eurocentricity, it can, by illustrating one man's life, illuminate ours.
To begin opening ourselves we must begin to identify with Crusoe. This is not as easy as it might seem. For one thing, in my case, he is a man, and I am a woman. He lived two hundred years ago so had very different values. He was white. I am not. It is, however, necessary to push these things aside and go to the text. Look especially at instances when Crusoe is not the most politically correct of heros- -when he seems most at odds with our thinking. Consider Crusoe's treatment of Friday. Friday has no name of his own, and he, the "savage," automatically becomes a servant. Here, Crusoe is condescending and racist. Yet, when I look at my own actions towards others, I have to admit that many times they fall short of being good or just. Let us be honest, don't we all shun or dislike those not like ourselves in color, age, social standing, or religion, at some time or other?
One other important flaw--some might not call it a flaw at all--is Crusoe's bond of utility rather than bond of mutual respect that forms the basis of his friendships. Crusoe is a man that, early in the novel, is a friend when the other person c...
... middle of paper ...
...eight years on a desert island. We learn that what really keeps us down is our human self absorption and that we have to rise above this terrible selfishness. We learn that finding the self is acknowledging our frailty and working, in spite of it, towards making our spiritual side strong. If I realize what is important in life, I know I have learnt from Crusoe's experiences and will never have to cry "Oh had there been but one ....
"The one book that teaches all that books can teach"
"I shall pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore I can do, or any kindness I can show to any human being let me do it now, let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Ed. Thomas Keymer. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print. Oxford World's Classics.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Personal response to Robinson Crusoe "...I observe that the expectation of evil is more bitter than the suffering..."(p.181). Only after several readings of different portions of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and several attempts at drafting a different type of paper, did I finally decide upon using this particular quotation. For me the best kind of writing is the one that does itself, and this quote is the basis for that kind of writing. All I have to do is hold the pen. My first recollection of being "locked into" fear (aside from the boogey man, ghosts and witches) was the first time I had to be absent from school for several days.... [tags: Defoe Robinson Crusoe Essays]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- Despite being the titular character, protagonist, and narrator of Daniel Defoe’s novel “Robinson Crusoe”, Robinson Crusoe is both a static and unlikeable character. Even after his incredibly journey through the course of the book, Crusoe shows limited to no signs of personal growth or development. It is difficult to sympathise with Crusoe even after all of the hardships he endured as he is only truly interested in furthering his own agenda. Throughout the novel Crusoe is constantly presented as a racist and self centered man.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Daniel Defoe, Man Friday]
725 words (2.1 pages)
- Robinson Crusoe Analysis As boys grow into men they go through a series of changes, leaving them doubting both themselves and their beliefs. One specific author who explores this is Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe. In this publication, Defoe writes about a man who emerges from a series of catastrophes as a symbol of man’s ability to survive the tests of nature. Because of the many hardships that Defoe encountered throughout his life, writing about a man whose thoughts and internal struggles mirrored his own helps to give the publication a sense of realism.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Daniel Defoe]
1172 words (3.3 pages)
- Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe, is a historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1600’s. Although written by Defoe, the story is told completely in the first person by the main character Robinson. It allows the reader to experience the full story from his perspective and know what is going through his mind during main events. The story occurs in a variety of places, including England, the Brazils, and a deserted island in the Atlantic Ocean. However, a majority of the book takes place on the deserted island that Robinson gets stranded on after a shipwreck.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, Novel, Ibn Tufail]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- “Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” Robinson Crusoe changes vastly, from a stubborn man to a prideful but knowledgeable one. While he accomplishes his journey of self-discovery, these are achieved by the several apparent forces. In the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, the forces fear, natural disasters, and religion change Robinson Crusoe significantly. A principal force that changes Robinson Crusoe in the novel is fear.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Daniel Defoe, Man Friday]
789 words (2.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Daniel Defoe, Man Friday]
1143 words (3.3 pages)
- To condemn society, Daniel Defoe wrote the story of the god-forsaken Robinson Crusoe. Somewhat like Shakespeare 's The Tempest, Defoe gives specific details on how to create a utopian society. In The Tempest, the feeble society of Prospero 's island addresses the characteristics of ethics, the paranormal and policies in the superior British society. In Defoe 's Robinson Crusoe, the island 's natural surroundings highlight the subject of man 's individual growth, both spiritually and physically. Nature precipitously exercises its supremacy and rheostat over man in the stifling storm that leads to the debris of Crusoe 's ship.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Ibn Tufail, Daniel Defoe]
1479 words (4.2 pages)
- Daniel Defoe’s early novel Robinson Crusoe was first published in 1719, and its notions reflects on the key issues of the day; namely the enlightenment period. Although its full title reflects on the aspect of his adventures, there are much deeper meanings seen in the novel that echo the sentiments of the enlightenment. Defoe illustrates the blending of rationalism, empiricism, and religion within the novel to demonstrate how these ideas can collaborate, as Crusoe is able to not only survive on the island, but thrive.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe, Novel, Daniel Defoe, Ibn Tufail]
1019 words (2.9 pages)
- Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe The balance between agency and the challenges to it proposed by unexplained or supernatural occurrences is of central importance in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Additionally, the question of human control over various surroundings seemingly develops commensurate to the title character’s increased reliance on and understanding of his faith. That particular conflict is a replication of the overall theme of the narrative — Crusoe’s finding increasing discomfort the more familiar he becomes with his environment.... [tags: Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe Essays]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Book Review on Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe The book I have chosen to do review on is "Robinson Crusoe". The author of the book is Daniel Defoe. The book was first published in 1719. The publishers that published the book were Penguin. Robinson Crusoe wanted to be sailor but his family wouldn't let him. When he got older he left and became a sailor. He went to South America and bought his own cotton farm. He had to make a voyage to Africa to get some slaves. On the way the ship got caught in a storm and it was destroyed.... [tags: Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe Essays]
496 words (1.4 pages)