Robinson Crusoe Analysis
Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe is in its whole an odd book; in reality it can be seen to break the kind of an unique as journal entries are sprinkled with the descriptive story. Nevertheless throughout the reading of the unique I was never ever comfy, and to some level was nervy and edge throughout. Clearly this was not to do with the suspense that Defoe develops due to the fact that in my opinion there is none. The very reality that the novel is a retrospective first person narrative quells such suspense as a reader due to the fact that you are constantly aware that Crusoe endures to tell his tale.
This uncomfortable feeling should have been produced through Defoe’s composing design and therefore I have actually assembled this list to highlight this point: The Frontispiece– this is especially the first impression of any novel, giving the title, author and publication information. However in this instance Defoe sought a chance to summarise the novel. In doing so he assumes some strange utterances as he declares the book is ‘The life and strange unexpected adventures …’ Why did Defoe feel it needed to use this kind of sibilance in describing Crusoe’s adventures?
In fact the facts that Defoe exposes in this frontispiece go some way towards telling the most essential truths of the story and hence ruin it; leaving the novel without any thriller or tension. The worry that the reader would have felt towards Crusoe throughout the storm and subsequent shipwreck is decreased, as the reader is notified prior to the very first word of the real novel that Crusoe is going to invest ‘8 and twenty years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island.’ Likewise this ruins the ending of the novel as the reader knows formerly that Crusoe is saved from the island and secondly that this will take place in the twenty– eighth year.
The omission of Defoe’s name as the author and the statement reading ‘composed by himself’ is baffling as it insinuates that the author was Crusoe himself. Is the reader supposed to believe that Crusoe entirely wrote this, or is the unique autobiographical meaning Defoe’s own individual experience, or is it just Defoe stressing that Crusoe is telling the events, albeit imaginary occasions, of the story as he experienced it, in first person retrospective type? In my opinion it’s the latter, but I believe the obscurity that Defoe urges through using this declaration appears.
The Beginning– Defoe is clearly trying to establish the novel as a factual account of a man’s solitary existence on a deserted island through his opening statement; ‘If ever the story of any personal guy’s adventures on the planet were worth revealing … this accounts thinks this will be so.’ Likewise Defoe makes a point of stating ‘The editor believes the thing to be a simply history of fact; neither is there any look of fiction in it.’ This indisputable effort to send the novel as simply factual displays the developed response from a reader at the stunning nature of this being a factual account.
Defoe is appropriate in thinking that to let the story unfold with the reader thinking it is factual will thus produce a more reasonable and significant response to the book. The reader will be better located to assess their own identity as it comes under question and will be more able to chosen what they would do if they were in Crusoe’s position. Personal Pronouns– Making use of ‘I’ peppers the early parts of the unique stressing the autobiographical nature of the account. Defoe right away attempts to influence his reader by acquiring an individual relationship and understanding of Crusoe and his preliminary trips.
Later in the novel the arrival of Friday sees the ‘I’ modification to ‘we’ which in turn marks a distinct shift in the novel and Crusoe’s identity as he goes from sole company to sole overseer and instructor. The Journal– clearly the addition of a journal includes another measurement to the unique and in some regard makes the novel distinct and practical. The realism produced by that of a journal of occasions which is mainly used to keep the sanity of a lonely shipwrecked survivor is believable.
However when positioned within a story of events this stylistic device certainly becomes more uncommon. The unexpectedness of the diary entries are both an invited modification to the previous narrative but creates a heightening of the serious scenario that Crusoe now faces. Certainly the very first entry to this journal comes down with melancholy; ‘I, poor, unpleasant Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked … began shore … “the Island of Misery”… ship’s company being drowned, and myself almost dead.’ The intensity of Crusoe’s scenario is also ombined and to some degree measured against his failure to continue with his journal; ‘… my ink began to fail me, and so I pleased myself to use it more sparingly, and to make a note of only the most impressive events of my life, without continuing a day-to-day memorandum of other things’. The ink in this quote can be seen to be representative of Crusoe’s fundamental features, since if he does not act his food supply will likewise run out. Post Manifest destiny– interestingly throughout the novel Crusoe is seen to be morally sound as he gives money away to those that have assisted him in the past and also turns upon the savages by saving their hostages.
In spite of this though there is an apparent post colonial position to the novel. The voyage, which led to Crusoe being marooned on the island, was for the function of acquiring servants to operate in the Brazilian plantations. These overtones of slavery and the obvious white European supremacy over the African race are carried throughout the book. Even with the intro of Friday, Crusoe adopts the function of leader and Friday becomes subservient to him.
The ‘other’ are referred to as savages and appear to the reader as wild and unreliable through Defoe’s depiction. I found this fascinating as Defoe eventually looked for the reader to examine their own morals and identity in society. This prejudice against Africans seems to strengthen the preconceptions that eighteenth century society had of the ‘other’. These concerns described above are those which I think make the novel unpleasant to read at times or that are uncommon or fascinating to a reader whether they remain in the eighteenth or twenty– first centuries.