Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe". Self Interpretation And Defence Of Text Including Intertextuality And Reading Practices.

1767 words - 7 pages

Reader centred approach:Daniel Defoe has been credited with writing the first long fiction novel in literary history; the highly acclaimed classic "Robinson Crusoe." It first appeared in print in 1719 and was very well received in its time. The story is that of the original 'cast away.'The novel was explicitly religious, which was one of the very first things I came to take great notice of. He claims that the hand of god has controlled each situation which he has found himself in, however he turns only to religion when it is convenient, and as a means to justify his actions. Crusoe uses gods will as an acceptable reasoning for the unfortunate events which occur.Before Crusoe was detained on the island, he had little to no belief in god. However, during his time on the island he 'finds' faith in god. It appears to me that Crusoe was only 'conveniently religious,' and his faith seemed to only be genuine for the durations of a problem or crisis.Crusoe displays throughout the entire novel, a major sense of both class and race superiority. Towards the beginning of the novel, there are two characters; a 'European servant' and a 'Negro slave' as it is described, who are mentioned, and this is where we first are led to assume that one is better than the other.When Friday is rescued by Crusoe, he is made into his 'servant', and Crusoe perceives him to be inferior and 'without the light of Providence.' Friday is informed to call Crusoe 'master' as he perceives himself to be his saviour and is therefore entitled to be called as such; and here he once again establishes himself as the superior.Crusoe begins to see himself as a ruler and also displays possessive character by referring to them as 'his island,' and 'his boy Xury,' and so on. He claims that he has bent the surroundings to his will, as if he now deserves ownership of the island. He attempts to recreate his old habits and former world, but then progresses in creating a world or environment that does not exist; a world where he is no longer middle class, but an almighty ruler.I found many of the aforementioned characteristics of Robinson Crusoe irritating, and soon become weary of his persistent complaining. Perhaps the one issue or underlying message that I did come to learn or even relate to from the book, as if Defoe had intended it, was that we must believe in ourselves. One must also have strong willpower, and as it seems to be suggested, we must listen to our parents.The novel does give an adequate insight on reality, and how hard life really is. It provokes the reader to think about the trials in life, and highlights the importance of exploring talents and testing one's faith, which will ensure success.Although the themes behind "Robinson Crusoe" were potentially fascinating, I found that it was conveyed in a rather tedious manner. Defoe's style of writing may be superbly written, but much of the writing is also dry and somewhat unemotional."Robinson Crusoe" is rather slow moving, and is not...

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