Daniel Defoe And Jonathan Swift Describe The Role Of Religion In Their Books Ucsd Hum 4 Humanity Essay

1403 words - 6 pages

Amber 5
Amber Chai
Professor Kontje
Hum 4
In this essay, I will talk about how Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift describe the role of religion in their books specifically, Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver’s Travel. These novels are one of the most iconic historical fictions of all time. Let’s start with Robinson Crusoe.
In the beginning of the story of the novel, Robinson Crusoe’s brief life in England, somehow resembles the biblical Adam, as he had experienced happiness, safety and been blessed where he had everything spoon-fed in front of him. However, Robinson was disobedient to his father’s orders and he has to pay for the consequences. In the novel, there’s a statement showing his slight regret: “my original sin, my subsequent mistakes of the same kind had been the means of my coming into this miserable condition”. This is because he was tempted by money. He wanted to achieve higher benefits and profit through sailing and trading on board of "a slave-gathering expedition to West Africa”. Unfortunately, the ship had capsized before they could reach their destination. Everyone on board died except for Crusoe and he was then later stranded on an island filled with resources. It’s believed this incident is a form of punishment by the God for earning benefits on the expense of others but as for Crusoe, God is giving him a second chance to live in life.
Firstly, Crusoe saved Friday and took him as his servant. Some people might think Friday has been treated more as a slave than a servant, however based on my understanding, it feels like Friday is just Crusoe’s “extra hand”. There is a distinctive difference between a slave and a servant. Slaves are forced to work in bad conditions without much rest, mistreated, dehumanizing by nature and treated as an object by the owners. On the other hand, servants are the complete opposite from slave in every perspective. They are treated nicely, being cared of and respected by peers. Crusoe never hurts or despises Friday and does not force him into doing things without his consent. Crusoe started of cruising in a ship of slavery, unfortunately the ship sank and many people had died and he was the only survivor. After the incident, he felt like he was punished for his action and kept Friday as his servant. In the novel at Chapter 14, it stated “the same powers, the same reason, the same affections, the same sentiments of kindness and obligation, the same passions…… and receiving of doing good that God has give to us.” (Chapter 14). This statement shows there is a moment of reflection, sense of regret and shame when he realizes that, natives have the equal rights, just like civilized people. In a nutshell, Friday is not categorized as a slave but more of a loyal servant, great companion or a friend. Additionally, in the novel, the conversion of Friday to Christianity himself showed great importance. This proves that Friday’s open-mindedness Robinson’s religion in the novel, sparked the beginning of a change...

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