Order And Disorder In "Robinson Crusoe" By Daniel Defoe

2561 words - 10 pages

"Robinson Crusoe" is more than just a story about a man shipwrecked on an island. The island is paradoxical place, because it simultaneously becomes a heaven and a threat. It will overwhelm and conquer Crusoe if he does not make it his paradise. The psychological tricks are survival tactics. And as many philosophers wrote that man in this sort of state of nature was a social animal, that the bestial life of the solitary savage was insecure, and that so far from being happy, the isolated natural man lived in constant fear of death. This is very true in the case of Robinson Crusoe, the entire time he is on the island his decisions are driven by his fears and in some cases his lust for power. It also depicts a man's journey of Christianity and how his faith gives him a sense of power which he pushes upon othersAt the beginning, Robinson Crusoe constantly hesitate as to whether or not he had made the right decision in running away from his home, which is due to the fact that his personality is simply changing and uncertain. Robinson's impressionable youth is shown in this inability to stay rooted to one emotion or decision. Clearly he does not know who he is, or who he is supposed to be. We cannot ever be sure that he has faith in himself. This lack of confidence paints a very timid picture of the narrator. It is a picture describing who Robinson used to be. After his wreck on the island, another contradictory sense emerged in Robinson's behaviour, civilization meets the wild. Essentially he oscillates between the roles of civilized, middle-class businessman and a primitive nature lover. Defoe means for us to view the island as a completely distinct world, of which Crusoe is the colonizer. In many ways he is stunned to have been suddenly thrown into a very unfamiliar situation. Still, he realizes that he must ransack the wrecked ship for provisions. Although he has not seen other signs of life, he immediately sets out to hide himself and all his possessions from plain view. Crusoe intends to recreate the European world on this island. But he can only do so by embracing the surrounding materials offered by nature: the grass turns into a thatched roof, the mud is sculpted into a cellar, the tree doubles as a house. This mock European world is literally dug out of the land with bare hands. The fact that creating a calendar and keeping a journal are some of the narrator's most notable first tasks demonstrates his desire to replicate the sense of time present in his former world. The idea is somewhat ridiculous when we first examine it. After all, keeping track of time is only necessary when in a world that imposes expectations based on time. Robinson's choice, however, is a choice to stay as close to the civilized world as he possibly can; to remain sane. Defoe plays with the tracking of time, such as "in one and a half years I had a thatched roof.". Then he uses the manner of story-telling which is useful because it allows the author to express is view...

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