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This text by Srinivas Aravamudan studies Daniel Defoe as an individual with an “expansive global perspective on trade” who  expresses his knowledge on the viability of commerce and colonization through his writings and most certainly so in his novel Robinson Crusoe.  Defoe’s commercial curiosity and colonial projections are apparent through his characterization of Crusoe as he turned this seeming adventure novel into one of imperial acquisition and used his work as a means for  “diagnosing global positioning for national domestic advantage.” For Defore, adventure equals an opportunity to empire and acquisition is never accidental in any of his tales. While the character Robinson Crusoe himself may seem very imperialistically driven, it is important to note the background of the person telling Crusoe’s tale in order to decipher why he does what he does. Defoe, Daniel, and John J. Richetti. Robinson Crusoe. Penguin Books, 2003.In Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, we read the enthralling tale of an adventurer with a passion for the sea.  Initially, Crusoe was almost dissuaded away from his desires for a life at sea by his father, however, he eventually succumbs to temptation and embarks on his own adventure. Crusoe, victim of several shipwrecks, maroons on an island away from the society of his hometown York, and struggles to survive in a remote location using nothing but sheer will, wit and an unwavering devotion to God. Crusoe eventually encounters a man,who he names Friday, that vows total submission to him and takes him as his personal servant. Robinson Crusoe belongs to the English literary history as an archetype of the man lost at sea and cast away on an island. Crusoe’s humbling experience allows him to realize a spiritual awakening and a newfound perspective on life. The island he lives on for almost 30 years serves as his prison that later liberates him from himself. Through his efforts, Crusoe turns this island into a great kingdom by applying the imperialistic and colonistic ways of 18th century Britain to expand. Greene, Jack P. Evaluating Empire and Confronting Colonialism in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.This work comprehensively analyzes the perspective of the English on their own British Empire in the eighteenth century and argues that the empire, as a “vibrant commercial entity”, is responsible for Britain’s prosperity and power.  However, a growing familiarity with non-European territories and their inhabitants produced a substantial amount of criticism and accusations that ignited as a product of the Seven Years’ War. Although this critique reflects a massive contemporary condemnation of British colonialism, it manifested a call amongst citizens in both Britain and many other territories to distance themselves from the imperial power. However, the benefits of empire were far too substantial and outweighed any and every critique that came about. Understanding Britain’s history in this context is imperative in our understanding of Robinson Crusoe as a Englishman himself. McInelly, Brett C. “Expanding Empires, Expanding Selves: Colonialism, The Novel and ‘Robinson Crusoe.'” Studies in the Novel, vol. 35, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. www.jstor.org/stable/29533546. The article “Expanding Empires, Expanding Selves: Colonialism, the Novel, and Robinson Crusoe” by Brett C. McInelly studies mainly the ways in which Robinson Crusoe attempts  to colonize the island he is marooned on and how he, the so called “protagonist”, differentiates between the “savages” of his island and the “civilized” culture of England and also explores the ways in which Crusoe applies colonial politics to his growing empire.  McInelly explains that Robinson Crusoe took the shipwreck as an opportunity, little by little, to make something out of his situation and begin to view himself as the king/ ruler over the island instead of wasting time despairing over his misfortunes.  McInelly also sheds light on the religious and spiritual awakening Crusoe undergoes during his stay on the island and how this too is another example and sign of the English- colonistic ways of Robinson Crusoe. His own expressed self-importance and the authority he has over the island and his companion Friday are examples of these colonial ideals in action. According to Crusoe, the English way is the only way that works. Schonhorn, Manuel. Defoe’s Politics: Parliament, Power, Kingship, and Robinson Crusoe. Cambridge University Press, 1991.This novel is an intensive study of Daniel Defoe’s politics and aims to challenge the misrepresentations of his literary political writings by reinstituting their eighteenth-century context. Schonhorn provides a full history of Defoe as a political reporter and journalist. It is imperative that he makes these connections between Defoe’s early careers and his later ones because that may have influenced his traditional and conservative ideas on society during his time. These ideas, such as the role of people in political hierarchies and monarchy, are Defoe’s way of how he thinks a functional society should best be structured and maintained to achieve maximum and beneficial political order. This personal model of his illuminates our original reading of Robinson Crusoe, which emerges less in terms of a family romance but more as “a tract for the rising bourgeoisie” as a dramatic desire of Defoe’s life-long political concerns regarding society, government and hierarchy.Wheeler, Roxann. “‘My Savage,’ ‘My Man’: Racial Multiplicity in Robinson Crusoe.” ELH, vol. 62, no. 4, 1995, pp. 821–861. www.jstor.org/stable/30030104. In Roxann Wheeler’s article, “My savage’, ‘My Man’: Racial Multiplicity in ‘Robinson Crusoe'” she argues that twentieth-century scholars have been slow to treat the dynamic of race throughout the entire novel. Wheeler’s article develops a different approach both to early eighteenth-century ideas about race and to Crusoe’s various relationships with non-British men. She claims that Robinson Crusoe illustrates the way in which reading for racial multiplicity is a better strategy for analyzing the emergence of race and ethnicity during this time period.  

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