Eighteenth Century / Robinson Crusoe


After reading the first few pages I started to get a feel for who Robinson Crusoe is. I got the feeling that he respected and cared for his family, for when he decides to go against his fathers will, it is obvious that he feels guilty and bad. However, you can tell that Crusoe is not one to give up on his own desires in his journey to life. Crusoe seems to take what people say to him lightly, but in the end does what feels right.  Crusoe also seems to be a very practical person for we see how he notices and pays attention to the small details and “facts”. Crusoe is definitely a business man. Once he sails to Cape Verde with Xury he does whatever he must to succeed. Crusoe seems likable since he easily meets a Portuguese captain and is off with him to Brazil. Once in Brazil when Crusoe makes plans to get black slaves in Guinea it proves he has inspiration.One thing that was very odd and inhumane to me though was when Crusoe sold Xury to the Portuguese captain. when Crusoe first met Xury he was very fond f him and the good values Xury had like trust and loyalty. But when Crusoe sells him he does it easily if he had never had a friendship with him. And then is only upset that now with the opportunity in Brazil for slave trade, that he missed out.

I find it ironic how in the beginning of the book, Crusoe’s father warns him about the dangers of the wild ocean and asks him not to go. And then once he encounters the first bad storm he gets another warning about the ocean. Crusoe’s will to live his life his way leads him to being stuck on an isolated island.

Not being religious myself, i found it interesting ow Crusoe when sick hallucinates about a being who is meant to be God. and how after Crusoe becomes well he seems to be grateful for his health.

Now that Crusoe has been given a sec on chance he is able to tell us about himself for what he thinks is his true self, “poor, miserable Robinson Crusoe,”. This is a very different idea of who he is compared to what i thought in the beginning. I think Crusoe is learning from his mistakes though, when he tries to harvest, but also with who he actually is.


3 thoughts on “Crusoe

  1. Hi Sarah – I enjoyed reading what you had to say about Crusoe’s character. I agree with your observation that he “is not one to give up on his own desires in his journey to life,” and I would take it a step further to argue that his voyages across the ocean are some sort of bodily necessity to him because of the way he talks about having thoughts that “were so entirely bent upon seeing the World” (8). Furthermore, even with the warnings from the first Master who warns Crusoe, “‘You ought never to go to Sea any more, you ought to take this for a plain and visible Token that you are not to be a Seafaring Man,’” he quickly forgets the terror he felt on the ship as well as the Master’s advice. Consequently, this forgetfulness combined with the shame of going home and admitting he was wrong, causes him to impulsively desire another voyage (33-4).

  2. One particular part of your response struck me: where you describe Crusoe as a being “very practical person for we see how he notices and pays attention to the small details and ‘facts'”. I think that this actually another aspect of Crusoe’s character that is contradictory. It is true that he is very practical when it comes to small details (for example with the unloading of the shipwrecked boat and the construction of his dwelling on the island. Even as he is establishing his plantation he exhibits a great deal of prudence starting small so as to minimize his risk). However, on a larger scale he is the opposite of practical. This shows itself in his insistence on going to sea despite the practical warning of his father in the beginning, or his willingness to risk his life on his slaving expedition to Guinea. Crusoe himself also seems to be aware of this incongruity in his character which he shows in his description of this second expedition where he notices the irony in carefully arranging for the dispensation of his estate should harm befall him, while completely ignoring the rashness of his decision to go at all when he has such a lucrative and promising life established already in the Brazils. I’m really intrigued by Crusoe’s contradictory nature. I wonder how it will manifest itself as the story progresses.

  3. Pingback: RE: “Crusoe” « History and Literature of Georgian England

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