Comparing Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

Comparing Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

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Comparing Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe


The theme that will be explored in this essay will be survival  when
times get tough, physically, mentally. The two books that will be
involved in the discussion will be Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel
Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.  In both cases the leading characters show
signs of breaking down and quitting because of physical, but also their
mental stress. 


Robinson Crusoe, and Sahara relate in many ways, as do
the main characters, and will be two good books to compare the survival
of both Dirk Pitt and Robinson Crusoe. The three criteria that will be
talked about in this essay will be the survival physically. Did both
characters have hard times to pull out of ? . The next type of survival
is  mental survival, it comes a close second to physical survival and
both characters show signs also of this type.  With mental survival the
physical component must first be stable and accomplished, that is when
you can then work your mind into better thoughts and ideas.  The third
criteria that will be  looked at is, how the characters were changed
at the end of the book looking at it through post-traumatic stress
disorder.  Both characters show signs of physical survival and it is
believed that physical is the most important type of survival because
you must first be physically healthy and strong before you can even
walk or talk or think. Mental survival is strongly needed and is
required in tough times

 

Each type of survival is different in it's own way, but first physical
stability must be achieved to be able to survive the elements and their
challenges to then master the other type of survival such as mental
survival.  In Robinson Crusoe the rain is pouring down and the wind is
blowing strongly.  Robinson says that this is the strongest, fiercest
storm that has ever blown in on him.  He is deathly ill and writes this
in his diary.

 

The ague again so violent that I lay abed all day and neither ate nor
drank.  I was ready to perish for thirst but so weak I had not strength
to stand up or to get myself any water to drink.  (Defoe 96)

Dirk Pitt also had some rough times in the book Sahara.  Crawling in
the desert, he has had nothing to drink or eat days, or for days to
come. This is what he remembers from that dreary day on dusty desert
floor.

Pitt found it odd that he couldn't remember when he last spit.  Though
he sucked on small pebbles to relieve the relentless thirst, he could

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not even recall when he felt saliva his mouth.  His tongue had swelled
like a dry sponge and felt as if it was dusted with alum, and yet he
found he could still swallow. (Cussler 373)

Both characters show that they can overcome the important battle for
survival, and both characters are devoted to their lives and strive to
live.  They both accept the challenges of the weather, and what the
landscape puts forth.  In Dirk's case it is the overheated scorched
Sahara desert that is ringing his bell, and in Robinson's case it would
be the hurricane that is blowing in off the water, making him cold,
sick and also making him hallucinate from his state of illness.  The
two men may not be in very good shape but they pull out of their sick
and desperate states.  Both men later in the chapter or book get well,
and overcome their sickness and unwell being.  Therefore, in both cases
the men need to be in good physical shape to live with their
difficulties of their surroundings.

The next topic that will be compared and discussed will be the survival
that must go on to survive mentally in the times of dismay and
trouble.  It is believed that this type of survival is second to none
when it comes to troubled times.  To be stable mentally means first you
must have to stable physically. To survive the elements and the
troubled times that both characters show in the books Robinson Crusoe
and Sahara, the characters had to be a bit adventurous, and had to look
deeply for what was there but not able to be seen with the naked eye.
In Robinson Crusoe's case he needed to go out and search for food to
eat and preserve, and animals to eat and to train as well.

I found different fruits, and particularly I found melons upon the
ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees; the vines had
spread indeed over the trees and the clusters of grapes were just now
in their prime, very ripe and rich.  This was a surprising discovery,
and I was exceeding glad of them. (Defoe 109)

Robinson Crusoe ventures out on his island and makes a discovery of
fruits of many kinds.  This relates to the topic of mental stability
because he is needing to be adventurous,  though Robinson is deathly
afraid of finding a pack of cannibals that will catch him and eat him
alive, he overcomes his cowardly feelings, brings up his bravery and
ventures out around his island, only to make that very important
discovery.

Dirk Pitt also shows signs of being adventurous and willing to take
risks to save himself and continue living.  Dirk is dying in the desert
when he crawls upon an airplane wreck, he then decides to build a land
yacht out of the left over plane.  His partner Giordino suggests that
it will take days to preform the task that Dirk is suggesting, but Dirk
sets him straight by telling him exactly what will have to happen for
them to get the land yacht to sail.

"We can use the center section if the fuselage between the cockpit and
the tail for a hull.  Using struts and spars, we can fabricate extended
runners.  With the two landing gear wheels and a small tail wheel, we
can work out a tricycle gear system.  And we have more than enough
control cable for rigging and a tiller setup."(Cussler 377)

Pitt's drive to get out of the desert and to survive is shown by his
great leadership and the will to press on and live out the rest of his
life to the fullest.  By making this land yacht they set up a real
adventure for themselves and in fact get themselves out of trouble.
His mental stability is shown by his leadership, and the fact that he
thinks that everything will go well and as planned.

Here is a quote from Robinson Crusoe that relate to the topic of mental
stability.  Robinson Crusoe takes to the bible when he is in dire
trouble of mental stress and breakdown.

 

"I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart to religious

exercise, prostrating myself on the ground with the most serious

humiliation, confessing my sins to god, acknowledging His righteous

judgments upon me, and praying to him to have mercy on me, though Jesus

Christ." (Defoe 114)

 

 

Robinson devotes a whole day to confession and prayer for God's

forgiveness and His help for Crusoe's case.  On several other occasions

he believes that this works.  One night Robinson dreams that savages

will come to shore and will deliver a companion for him to use and talk

to and help him with various tasks.  This dream comes true one day,

Robinson gets down on his knees and prays for thankfulness.

 

Unfortunately Clive Cussler does not show many mental thoughts for god

or for being mentally strong in this way.  Cussler writes more about

physical fitness and stability and does not show many signs of mental

weakness. This is  probably because his leading character Dirk Pitt is

always the hero and hero's are supposed to be strong in al ways on all

basis.

 

This brings me to my third and final thought, Post traumatic stress

disorder.  Encyclopedia.com

 

defines post traumatic stress disorder as,

 

post-traumatic stress disorder

(PTSD), mental disorder that follows an occurrence of

extreme psychological stress, such as that encountered

in war or resulting from violence, childhood abuse, or

serious accident. Symptoms include emotional

numbness, nightmares or flashbacks, insomnia,

heightened sensitivity to sudden noises, and outbursts

of violent behavior. http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/10438.html

 

 

Most people suffer from post traumatic stress disorder because they

have been exposed to highly stressful and frightening situations and

experiences.  Post traumatic stress disorder occurs from such things as

shootings at high schools. If a person were involved and saw his or her

friends being shot and killed, that would and could scar you for life

and could cause post traumatic stress disorder.

 

Traumatic experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about

safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust. Because they are so far

outside what we would expect, these events provoke reactions that feel

strange and "crazy". Perhaps the most helpful thing I can say here is

that even though these reactions are unusual and disturbing, they are

typical and expectable. By and large, these are normal responses to

abnormal events. (Internet)

 

 

This type of syndrome fits the main characters because they were

exposed to highly stressful experiences and could have easily been

affected by these experiences. An example is when Robinson Crusoe found

all kinds of human bones on the shore and he did not want to ever leave

the place he called home again, though he overcame his fear and worked

through the times as if he hadn't seen anything.  It could be said that

Robinson Crusoe did not suffer any post traumatic stress disorder

because he did not break down or show any signs of what the definition

states above.  Dirk Pitt was even more exposed to such problems as

being in a gold mine, being worked like a slave, being whipped and

beaten to work harder, and many other situations like that.  Clive

Cussler writes Dirk Pitt to be the hero so he really has to be strong

and Pitt did not ever show signs of having such a disorder in the end

of the novel.

 

The theme that was explored in this essay was survival  when times get

tough, physically, and mentally. In  Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.  In both books the leading characters show

signs of breaking down and quitting because of physical, but also

because of their mental stress.  Both books Robinson Crusoe, and Sahara

relate in many ways, as do the main characters, and were two good books

to compare the survival of both Dirk Pitt and Robinson Crusoe. The

three criteria that were talked about in this essay was the survival

physically, did both characters have hard times to pull out of ?  Both

characters show signs of physical survival. Physical is the most

important type of survival because you must first be healthy and well

before you can even walk or talk or think. The next type of survival

is  mental survival, it comes a close second to physical survival and

both characters show signs also of this type. Mental survival is

strongly needed and is r!  equired in tough times.  With mental

survival once you have your body stable you can then work your mind

into better thoughts and ideas.  The third criteria that will be

looked at is, how the characters were changed at the end of the book

looking at it through post-traumatic stress disorder.  Both characters

seemed to show little or no signs of post traumatic stress disorder.

The characters pulled out of their hard times very well and survived

their hardships. Because of the information and the facts above it

could be said that both Robinson Crusoe and Dirk Pitt survived both

physical, mental survival but also didn't show signs of post traumatic

stress disorder.  It could be expected that if either of these

characters were in such a situation of that at Columbine high that they

would pull though without a scratch.

 
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