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Robinson Crusoe: Critical Analysis, Essay Example

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Essay

The author of the novel narrates a story of a stranded individual in order to judge the merits and faults of the society. His choice of the island enables him to show his readers what is necessary for the growth of a faultless society. His novel compares to that of Shakespeare, The Tempest, in that the small society of Prospero’s island explores the aspects of politics, the supernatural, and morality in British society.  In Defoe’s novel, the natural environment of the island elicits the aspect of man’s development physically and spiritually. Man has been controlled and overpowered by nature as evidenced in the tropical storm that leads to the wreckage of Robinson’s ship. Marooned on the island, Robinson is put at a position that required him to use his knowledge and skills in order to survive. Since he had no choice, Crusoe had to survive. The survival led to the discovery of his other potentials.  At first, he felt so lonely. He developed fear towards the feral beasts of the island, and stayed high up in a tree.

Without a weapon to hunt and kill creatures he was vulnerable (Defoe, 47). Defoe has believes that the nature of man stays in the capacity for progress in the context of a material world (Seidel, 59), and this is evidenced in the novel. The trait that Crusoe has from the ship bears this notion, developing his life on the island. He evolves quickly, and his feeling of isolation fades away. He builds a room in a cave and fences off wild animals using the little tools he had. The builds a farm he grew corn and raised goats. Eventually, his desires drive him to another side of the island where he built a country home.

From his skills in making weapons, he save Friday from cannibals, and makes him his help. Because of the tools he made, his harvest becomes more than sufficient for survival. He slowly understands that if he works with hi environment instead of pondering of what he did not have, he is able to find and use everything he needs in order to live. In addition to Defoe developing mentally and physically in the island, he also exposes Crusoe’s island as a model of European society.  Crusoe’s education and European values are depicted: he rule the island by building houses. His progressive evolution on the island depicts that of the British Empire around the 18th century.

A part of the novel displays Crusoe’s astonishing prowess throughout the novel to grasp ownership of things. He trades his slave to the Portuguese captain; he salvages the content of two capsized ships and takes Friday as his help immediately after bumping into him. Significantly, he sees the island as his own property over which he has “undoubted right of opinion” (Crusoe, 241). Additionally, his art of making structures demonstrates his understanding of politics. He jokes about his happy reflections of looking like a king, but appears more of happy thought when he points out to “my people” (Crusoe, 241) being “perfectly subjected”. His personal standpoint is influential throughout the story and showcases how much colonization depended on decorum, self-righteous way of thought.

Crusoe takes a chip of paradise and makes it a sovereign state. He is the Lord of country, the king of vale, and the squire of the manor (Seidel, 10). Owing to the separation from civilization and the rest of the world, Crusoe creates a utopian society, which is not only dependent on him for survival, but he is also dependent on it. This society can be seen as a Marxist but it has confirmed that a utopian environment is possible to make. However, the ease with which the society can be created depends on the number of citizens; a single citizen makes it come easily. This is because people who destroy harmony and corrupt the government do not exist.  It was then that he sensibly began to feel how much more happier  the life he led was more than the abominable life he led previously (Defoe, 112).

In addition to criticizing the society, Defoe is able to represent the objects around Crusoe that reinforce the idea of the making of a utopian society. The corn and the barley in the island, which he refers to as prodigy of nature, are emblems of the emotional and spiritual growth that taking place within himself. However, the grains were the main provider of food for Crusoe. The notion of Crusoe and the island living together and providing to one another in harmony clearly supports the idea of a perfect society.

Crusoe manages to change his fear to bravery when he transforms from isolation to expansion. Moreover, the island assists Crusoe to change from a non-believer to a God-fearing. Prior to his adventures in the sea, religion had little meaning in his life. The absence of neither his father’s nor God’s blessing did not bother him when he decided to a ship destined for England. When the ship encountered a storm, Crusoe turned to God for guidance. Progressively, he notice God’s plans for him, and embarks to expand spiritually. In Defoe’s Serious Reflections, he defines providence as the operation of wisdom, power, justice, and goodness to God, by which God influences, directs, and governs not only the means, but activities, of all things which concern us in this world. While on the island, Crusoe realizes the work of destiny while watching his crop grow. Without the island setting, Crusoe would have not recognized such an event, as barely grows profusely in his country. Without the knowledge of such event, he would have not realized how wonderful people are delivered, they know nothing of it.

Although Crusoe has grown throughout the story to accept what has become of him, towards the end, readers find out that solitude has started to take its effect. He moves on in life, but misses the role that he played in society. Though he has created his clean habitat, humans are social beings, and require the touch that does not come from seclusion. The development that took place on the island, principally, made Crusoe acknowledge that even the perfect experience while in solitude is incompatible with that of sharing human emotion and the removal of loneliness and makes him recognize it much more.

In all, the novel, Crusoe, has caused it popularity in the manner in which it has undergone more translations, edition, limitations, and continuations. The narrator of the novel develops to make a promising outlook towards a problem, and, thus create a perfect solution for himself both physically and mentally. He does this by use of tone and first person narrative. The paper has spanned the author’s criticism of the society as a whole.

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