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UNIFRA ENGLISH LITERATURE I Robinson Crusoe (published in 1719) By Daniel Defoe

Class Questions

Ideology 1- What ideologies shape Crusoes behavior in this novel? Individuality, Christianism, Capitalism, Colonialism. Narrative 2- How can the narrative style be classified? It is a fictional autobiography written from a first-person point of view, apparently written by an old man looking back on his life. It is also a realist novel. It deals mostly the telling of a religious conversion. Character 3- What role does Robinson Crusoe assume in the imaginary of the English people of the time? He is an Englishman destined to succeed at colonialism by overcoming his fears through the use of his psychological tools: his reason, work ethics and Protestant faith. 4- How does he keep sanity in spite of living for more than 20 years alone? New Testament; strives to dominate nature; remembers his condition as a human being and an Englishman. 5- How can you classify this novel by the force of protagonist action, according to Frye (1973:40)? Not being superior to other men the protagonist is a common person. He is subjected to the same probability that is noted in our common experience. He belongs to the low imitative mode. We have the feeling of looking at him in the eye or horizontally. 6- What is his attitude towards Friday? Colonialist.

Space - How is the relation of Crusoe to the island/nature? It is of total domination. It is a symbol for the English colonialist drive.

Time - What is the notion of time? It is chronological because of the growing capitalist ideology in which time is actually money. He is busy every single day.

1) What English ideological ideals are projected in Robinson Crusoe?

StructuralistNarratology Story -Parts: 1. Born in York; 2.To London and Trade; 3.The Island; 4.The End of Solitude; 5.Back to Civilization. -Sequences: The chapters -Pure Indexes: 1.Bible (civilization, conversion); 2.Nature(wild and dangerous but also the source of food and shelter if properly dominated); 3.Friday(the culturally inferior people the Englishmen can dominated because of their superior ideology); 4.House, table(civilization); -Actants: 1. Subject: Robinson Crusoe; 2. Object:Survive, return to civilization, go to heaven ; 3. Sender: survival instinct, English culture, will of being with people, faith ; 4. Receiver: Robinson Crusoe ; 5. Helper: His intelligence, hard work, bible, boat ; 6. Opponent: the sea, solitude. -Setting: The island(wild, dangerous, isolated, but also a place he eventually domesticates and benefits from it), the sea(vast, extremely dangerous), Narrative -Time: 1.Acceleration: . 2. Scene: . 3. Deceleration: -Order: Flashback -Characterization: a.Direct ; b.Indirect: the way he works, farmed island, ; Analogy: parrot, -Focalization: Choice: The extradiegetic narrator. Psychological Properties: a)cognitive- The narrating I, the older Crusoe, tells what saw as a character in the story. In this way he has only access to the mind of this own character. But this access is complete: he does not limit information. Instead, he gives full access to the characters mind. What the reader may come to conclude is that Crusoe the character is not emotive at all for these descriptions almost always concern his logical thinking. Loving emotions are not on perspective. Only selfpreservation ones are mentioned, as his fear of being killed by cannibals. b)emotiondetached/emphatic- he is emphatic because he constantly explores the protagonists thought. The character himself is not an emotional person, but this does not make the narrator detached. c)Ideology- that of colonialism. The focalizer Textual Indications: . -Themes: 1.Fear- Robinson Crusoe must overcome his fear in order to survive his long ordeal on the deserted island. The trial by fear begins when he runs about like a madman, scared of every shadow, and sleeps in a tree with a weapon: "fear banished all my religious hope, all that former confidence in God." He quickly realizes that he must recover his wits and reason if he is to survive. At several points in the narrative, Crusoe is almost overwhelmed by his fear of the unknown. It propels him to colonize the island, securing his shelter and becoming selfsufficient. His ability to funnel his fear into productivity and creativity allows him to survive under extreme conditions. Crusoe masters his fear when he faces the ultimate challengethe devil. Investigating a cave, he is met by a pair of eyes. At first scared, he realizes that he can confront this enemy just like he has met every other challenge on the island "He that was afraid to see the devil, was not fit to live twenty years in an island all alone " With that, he rushes in to confront the devil and discovers a dying goat. He has passed his trial. Had he not faced his fears, he would have run away in full belief that the devil lived in that cave. Instead, he investigates and confronts his fear. 2.Human Condition Robinson Crusoe is a meditation on the human condition, and an argument for challenging traditional notions about that condition. Finding himself alone in a deserted island, Crusoe struggles to maintain reason, order, and civilization. His "original sin"

is his rejection of a conventional life. When he leaves England for a life on the high seas, he refuses to be "satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature hath placed" him. Crusoe struggles withand eventually triumphs overnature. The book suggests that this struggle is at the heart of human nature: man is on earth to triumph and gain profit from nature. Any profit makes sense in this view of the world, whether that means getting just one plank out of a huge tree or building a boat too heavy to bring to the water. Once Crusoe is able to overcome his fear and subdue nature, he is rewarded handsomely. 3.MoneyConsistent with Defoe's writings on economics, money is an important theme in Robinson Crusoe. At the beginning of the narrative, Crusoe details how much money he has, what he does with it, and what he gains by his actions. On the island, money loses all value. Crusoe has to find another way to measure his worth. While rummaging through a ship for salvage he laments aloud at the sight of some money, "O Drug!...what are thou good for."

Narration -Narrator type: Extradiegetic and autodiegetic. -Properties of narration: 1. Temporal properties: Prior Narration , . 2. Visibility: Overt. -Consciousness Representation: Psycho-narration(indirect discourse), Quoted monologue(direct discourse)