Theme Of Individualism In Robinson Crusoe

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Individualism in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe was a journalist, a pamphleteer, a merchant but he was most famously known for being a novelist. His most famous book, being Robinson Crusoe, is set on a deserted island where a stranded man has to survive for 28 years. This oeuvre belongs to the English early novels and created a new form of storytelling. A storytelling in which Defoe wants his readers to believe that they are reading factual history rather than a piece of imagination. Furthermore, the novel also expresses 18th century concerns in the developing society. Seeing that the book was written in 1719 this novel presents 18th century concerns. Therefore, themes such as violence, race, individuality and human nature are
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“I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea.” (Daniel Defoe, 1719, p.3). Robinson Crusoe does not want to be dependent on his family nor other authorities and therefore goes abroad. However, on his first voyage the notion of individualism or even egocentrism is clearer. Crusoe has terrible mood swings when a storm engulfs the ship he is on. He thinks of returning home, but almost immediately changes his mind when the sea calms down. His vision is clear again and he wants to continue his journey. This shows that Crusoe only thinks for his own sake. In times of need as well as in prosper times he contemplates what the best situation might be, but only were it to be for his own good. This thinking can be regarded as egocentrism or individualism seeing that he does not take into account the ones surrounding him. All this egoism of Crusoe can be seen as Defoe’s criticism of an egocentric …show more content…
Therefore, after Crusoe taught Friday to speak English, the first thing he asks is whether his people fight good or not. Crusoe continues to ask about details and how they beat their enemy, seeing that Friday’s people are represented as cannibals. In some respect, it is his human nature exploring the interest to fight but also to learn if Friday and his people are another potential

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