Appropriations Essay- Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away
Appropriations Essay- Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away Concern: “Texts are inevitably a reflection of their particular historical, social and cultural contexts.” Appropriation is the translation of components of one text into another, in which the old aspects are changed to fit the responders of the new social context. Texts are inexorably a replication of their particular historic, social and cultural structures. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Robert Zemeckis’ film appropriation Cast Away (2000 ), highlight a shift in values, attitudes and beliefs.
The concepts pervading the texts include: optimism grounded in faith of a Christian God versus optimism grounded in human relationships, proficiency of environment versus existential misery and seclusion, unwavering belief in human technology versus awareness of limitations in innovation, and human resourcefulness and ingenuity. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe places its lead character as a colonizer– a guy who defies his father’s incitement, instead embarking on a sea venture in the hopes of collecting substantial wealth from participation in the slave trade.
Lost in the Caribbean, Crusoe redirects his spirit of acquisition to change his island, and its ultimate occupants, into a British nest, with himself as its governor. Defoe highlights Crusoe’s clear optimism grounded in faith of a Christian God- “I am alive … not starved … no wild beasts … But God wonderfully sent the ship on near enough to the coast …” (Page 54). Defoe uses a descriptive list to stress Crusoe’s realisation that his sanguinity is ultimately grounded in his faith of a Christian God and spiritual simpleness.
Crusoe’s belief in the function of Providence in identifying his faith and redemption reflects the evangelisation of ‘primitive’ cultures in 17th century Christian society context. Defoe even more conveys Crusoe’s optimism grounded in faith of a Christian God through the effective usage of metaphorical language in comparing Crusoe to a pet to highlight Crusoe’s preliminary despair– “When again I was shipwrecked, destroy ‘d and in danger of drowning on this island. I was as far from Regret, or searching it as a Judgment; I only stated to myself often that I was an unfortunate dog. Crusoe later on reflects on his situation, seeing it as a present from God and not of punishment. Robert Zemeckis’s movie appropriation, Cast Away, plainly based upon Defoe’s unique, refigures the foundational cultural of Robinson Crusoe set in contemporary global consumerist society. Cast Away features the lead character, Chuck Noland, whose task as a Federal Express executive includes supervising the company’s expansion into new markets. After a plane crash hairs Noland on a deserted island similar to Crusoe’s, Chuck should invest four years shipwrecked before escaping back to civilisation.
In contrast to Crusoe’s faith in a Christian God, Chuck’s optimism is grounded in human relationships. In the establishing Shot, Zemeckis makes reliable usage of a framing gadget and meaning to represent a significant driver in Chuck’s life. Through using a panning, large angle, long shot, the protagonist is depicted as a ‘crossroads’ physically and emotionally. Chuck’s island journey will require him to reassess his preliminary materialist values in order to discover the significance of human relationship, communicating the humanist worths of the increasing secular 20th century society.
In the preliminary FedEx factory scene, Chuck’s preliminary preoccupation with material success over human relationships is depicted through the use of high technique, metaphorical language in combination with rapid electronic camera movements to convey a sense of urgency and fascination with money and time- “Time guidelines over us without mercy-not caring if we are healthy or ill … Time is like a fire-it can either damage us or keep us warm … cause we live or we die by the clock … and we never ever permit ourselves the sin of misplacing time. The motif of clocks throughout the opening scenes even more conveys Chuck’s preliminary preoccupation with material success. During Chuck’s preparation to leave the island, Zemeckis makes effective usage of paradox and cynicism to highlight the limitations of Chuck’s initial worth system- “We live and we die by the time, lets not devote the sin of turning our back on time.” It is only when Chuck is stripped of the vestiges of human abundance that he is required to re-evaluate his original point of view.
The recurring picture theme of Kelly communicates Chuck’s changing attitudes towards human relations. Chuck is holds onto hope due to the possibility of gaining meaning through human connections. Zemeckis makes efficient use of ‘Wilson’ to function as a surrogate human being as Chuck frantically attempts to discover a sense of optimism grounded in human relationships in contrast to Crusoe’s strength based upon a strong Christian belief system. In Robinson Crusoe, Defoe represents Crusoe as being the master of his environment.
High technique language in combination with Crusoe’s first person narrative highlights the degree to which Crusoe thinks he has rightful ownership over the island and of colonisation- “My island was now peopled, and I believed myself very rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection which I regularly made, how like a king I look ‘d. To start with, the whole country was my own meer home; so that I had an undoubted right of dominion. Second of all my people were perfectly subjected: I was absolute lord and law-giver …”. p. 190). Defoe’s description of Crusoe’s ‘kingdom’ highlights Crusoe’s cultural proficiency and establishment of the conveniences and security of civil society, highly portraying the late 17th century Eurocentric imperialist mindsets and beleifs. Defoe makes reliable use of high method language in combination with an allusion to commitment to portray Crusoe’s superiority and mastery over the environment-“… I was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and had a right of belongings …” (p. 0) Crusoe’s Eurocentric belief in colonial profession and right of ownership is shown as an unproblematic idea. In contrast to Robinson Crusoe, Zemeckis shows the lead character’s deep existential anguish and seclusion on the island. In the initial island scene, Zemeckis makes effective use of low key lightening and a low angle shot in combination with diegetic sound effects of waves and nature to create a threatening sense and illustrate the existential insignificance and vulnerability of guy in face of the effective forces of nature.
The mountain motif is a continuous pointer of male’s insignificance in the place of nature’s powerful forces. Zemeckis further communicates human insignificance in the place of nature through using wide angle shots and high angle shots of the island to give a sense of isolation and misery. Zemeckis utilizes a response shot, diegetic sound impacts of the storm and low essential contrasting light in Chuck’s cavern refuge to convey Chuck’s anguish and isolation which highly juxtaposes to Crusoe’s ‘kingdom’ and colonial practical reign.
Zemeckis reveals the mental impotency obvious in the late 20th century. Throughout Robinson Crusoe, Defoe exhibits Crusoe’s steady belief in human innovation. Through the effective use of 1st individual narration in combination with an assertive tone- “I could have shot as numerous [fowl] as I pleas ‘d, however was really sparing of my powder and shot …” (p. 88)- Defoe shows the lead character’s unflinching faith in human civilisation and technology to dominate over nature.
Crusoe’s strong belief in controling over the natural world is greatly contrasting to Chuck who is irrelevant in the location of nature’s powerful forces and familiar with the constraints in innovation on the island. Crusoe’s practical view of nature is communicated through using a first person, assertive tone- “The working part of this day and of the next were completely used in making my table, for I was yet however an extremely sorry worker, tho’ time and need made me a compleat natural mechanic soon after, as I think it would do any one else”. (p. 8) Crusoe’s unflinching belief in human rationality is highlighted though his implicit faith in human technology. In variation to Robinson Crusoe, Zemeckis elucidates the protagonist’s awareness of constraints in innovation. In the preliminary island scene, Zemeckis makes effectual use of enforcing diegetic sound impacts of crashing waves in conjunction with low angle and close up reaction shots of Chuck’s deflating life raft to communicate the restrictions of technology in the face of nature’s ferocity, starkly contrasting Crusoe’s unfaltering faith in the capability of technology to control the natural environment.
In the opening of the FedEx boxes scene, Zemeckis makes reliable usage of cumulative images in combination with close up shots of the FedEx plans containing ineffective consumer items to satirically communicate the extent to which contemporary culture has become dependent on extreme consumerist innovation obvious in today’s late capitalist society. In the initial island scenes, Zemeckis makes effective usage of diegetic sound results of nature to highlight that Chuck has actually been stripped of the vestiges of civilisation and fundamental human requirements.
Chuck shows human innovation for standard survival in contrast to Crusoe’s steady belief in technology. In Robinson Crusoe, Defoe continually shows Crusoe’s innovative human resourcefulness and resourcefulness. “Three things I desired extremely for this work, viz. a pick-axe, a shovel, and a wheel-barrow or basket, so I desisted from my work, and started to think about how to supply that want and make me some tools …” (Page 59) Crusoe’s retrospective narrative exposes his resourcefulness and enterprising attitude whilst additional enhancing his faith in western innovation as the methods by which he attains proficiency over his environment.
In contrast to Robinson Crusoe, Zemeckis communicates that the lead character’s human resourcefulness and resourcefulness is not as foregrounded compared to Crusoe. In the FedEx plans scene, Zemeckis makes effective use of a cumulative method in conjunction with close up reaction shots to communicate the superfluousness of the human consumerist technology. The skates produce a sense of paradox and absurdity offered Chuck’s circumstance, however he ultimately utilizes human ingenuity to change the skates into an useful tool to survive on the island.
In the creation of fire scene, Zemeckis makes effective use of a close up reaction shot of chuck’s pugnacious facial expression in conjunction with a severe close up of his eyes to highlight Chuck’s incredulity at his resourcefulness to make fire. Through making use of unlimited, frustrating scenes and satirical dialogue-“Take a look at what I have created, I have actually made fire …”- Zemeckis communicates that Chuck’s human ingenuity is not as foregrounded compared to Crusoe.
Appropriation is the translation of elements of one text into another, in which the old aspects are transformed to suit the responders of the brand-new social context. Through the assessment of these texts, there is a clear difference of the principle of appropriation through the altering values, attitudes and beliefs in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe embeded in 17th century capitalist society, and Zemeckis’s Castaway set in 20th century international consumerist society. Texts are inexorably a replication of their specific historic, social and cultural structures.