Language of Robinson Crusoe Essay

Daniel Dafoe’s popular book, originally entitled The Life and Unusual Surprizing Experiences of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived 8 and Twenty Years, all alone in an unoccupied Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Coast by Shipwreck, where all the Guy died but himself. With an Account how he was at last as strangely deliver ‘d by Pyrates (iii), like the majority of classics went through numerous editions through the years.

Nevertheless nothing but the first edition, which is the basis of this essay, can offer us the feel and look of the time as intended to be revealed by the author.

EARLY MODERN ENGLISH According to Volume 14 of The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes, Early Modern English period marked the expansion of using the English language outside England. However considering that English was spread out at different times it has gone through different influences and extra variations caused by efforts at etymological spelling (Ward et al ch 15 sec 3 par 1).

These were evident in the novel in two aspects of language: grammar and vocabulary (Ward et al ch 15 sec 1 par 1-2).

Amongst the inflectional changes throughout the early modern English was the dropping of the weak vowel in verbs ending in– ed (Ward et al. ch 15 sec 4 par. 7). Examples of these manifested not just in the title (the word deliver ‘d) but within the text itself such as call ‘d, fill ‘d, encreas ‘d, and fatigu had actually. Spelling likewise appeared to be phonetically defective (Ward et al. ch 15 sec 3 par. 1) with words like perswasions, lyon, lye, and prophetick. Intensifying of words were also utilized in the novel by examples of free-school, hand-maids, ground-tackle and fellow-slave.

However, the modification in the verbs as well as the defects in spelling was not applied to the entire novel which makes us think about the factors for such use. TOWARDS A PURITY IN STYLE Daniel Defoe, in his book An Essay upon Projects, stressed that it was the responsibility of the society to polish and improve the English tongue and to purge it from all the irregular additions that ignorance and affectation have presented as befitted the noblest and most extensive of all the repulsive languages on the planet (8 ).

The spread of the English language was depicted in the novel when Robinson Crusoe teaches his servant Friday the English language. We may discover from an excerpt of their discourse listed below that although basically Crusoe and Friday came to communicate efficiently with each other, Friday’s English differs much from Crusoe’s parallel to their difference in status and origin: Friday, My Nation beat much, for all that. Master, How beat; if your Nation beat them, how come you to be taken?

Friday, They more many than my Country in the Place where me was; they take one, two, 3, and me; my Nation over beat them in the yonder Place, where me no was; there my Country take one, 2, great Thousand. Master, But why did not your Side recover you from the Hands of your Enemies then? Friday, They run one, 2, three, and me, and make go in the Canoe; my Nation have no Canoe that time. (Defoe, “Robinson Crusoe” 254) Much is the very same situation that produced the variations and additions to the English language in which Defoe is clamoring for pureness (“An Essay upon Projects” 8).

Shoar and Shore. Aside from the faulty spelling mentioned earlier is the variation in the spelling (Ward et al. ch 15 sec 3 par. 1). An example if this is the word shore, spelled coast and shoar, in different context of the book. It may be kept in mind that shoar was just utilized in the part of Robinson Crusoe’s incidents. That is to say, from the part of his captivity at Sallee up until before his wreck on the island. These mishaps, Crusoe later on reflected on, were outcomes of his lack of knowledge in the Providence of God and malcontent hence the use of the spelling shoar.

While his singular life in the island explained the learning procedure he went through to survive and finally live harmoniously with his surroundings; hence the restored usage of the spelling coast. In this regard, one might translate that making use of the word was intentional to show the need and difficulty in creating a requirement for the English language. viz. and (viz. ). Using foreign language in books is rather typical throughout the ages. As such, we pertained to attention on making use of the Latin word viz. Oxford English Dictionary specifies viz.

as the abbreviation of videlicet which usually means specifically or that is to state (1033 ). Although Defoe utilized viz. without parenthesis and viz. in parenthesis based on the very same definition, its participation in the declaration are rather various. The viz. without parenthesis was utilized in identifying and qualifying statements such as the “All the rest of that Day I invested in affecting my self at the depressing Circumstances I was brought to, viz. I had neither Food, House, Clothes, Weapon, or Location to fly to …” (“Robinson Crusoe” 82). On the other hand, viz.

in parenthesis, which appeared in lines like “This was what I want ‘d for; so I took them up, and serv ‘d them as we serve infamous Burglars in England, (viz.) Hang ‘d them in Chains for a Fear to others …” (“Robinson Crusoe” 138), was used as such in order to describe earlier declaration. Using parenthesis to differentiate making use of the exact same word in the novel more shows Defoe’s mission for refinement of the English language as mentioned formerly. CONCLUSION Indeed, regardless of the plot of the story which classified it to fiction, the culture and language of the time is apparent.

Robinson Crusoe, in its initial version, permits us the indulgence to peek and appreciate not only the early modern-day English language however the period too. The flexibility of the language then reflected the society of that time as it has actually constantly been for any period or period. At the exact same time, the unique supplied extra place for the author to disseminate his concepts and additional his specific effort towards the shift to the modern-day English language and insertions to the significance of learning throughout the spectrum of the society. Such power language needs to affect its readers, whether consciously or automatically.

And the duality that the unique showed made it a favorite amongst children and grownups alike. Fulfilling its objectives to amuse and propagate (however subtle it may be).

Functions Pointed out

Defoe, Daniel. An Essay Upon Projects. New York City: Adamant Media Corporation, 2005. Print.–. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an unoccupied Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having actually been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself.

With an Account how he was at last as strangely deliver ‘d by Pyrates. London: printed for W. Taylor, 1719. Print. Oxford English Dictionary. New York City: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print. Ward, Aldolphus William, Sir, et al. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. New York City: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907-21; New York: Bartleby. com, 2000 (Web) April 1, 2009.

You Might Also Like