Diplomada

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  • Publicado : 3 de septiembre de 2012
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CRUSOE

Part 1 Analysis:
Defoe immediately introduces the major tension in his novel between adventure and security. Clearly in the view of the author it is not possible to achieve both of these things; you must choose. Defoe makes no secret of his opinion on the subject: security is indeed the correct choice. He demonstrates this painting a negative view of adventure: it causes both ofRobinson's brothers to disappear, and it brings misfortune upon the narrator as soon as he leaves home. What is most crucial to note, however, is that adventure exists as something inferior only in relation to the lifestyle of the middle class. This will be the standard by which all other lifestyles are judged. It is a smart innovation on Defoe's part; books focused on the middle class very rarely. Thisdefinitely would have extended readership. We might see Robinson's father as the voice of the author, urging his "irreligious" son to be content with a contented life. He is also the voice of a larger society that believes in a type of predestination in lifestyles: by "Nature's decree," Robinson should not go on any voyages because he is neither rich nor poor. Robinson's initial comrade voices asimilar argument when he wonders violently how such an "unhappy wretch" wound up on his ship. He appears to be superstitious of Robinson's presence because his sadness is not an acceptable reason for him to be making this voyage. That certain activities are restricted to certain classes of people in certain states of mind indicates how regimented the society is. A modern day reader can admire thenarrator in the very least for attempting to break out of these expectations. His voice is factual and tuned to details. Most importantly, it is an individual voice. Robinson speaks for himself and himself alone.

How successful Crusoe is, however, is a matter of dispute. Primarily, the tone of the narration is flatly morose and fatalistic. The narrator is always prefacing his descriptions withcomments about what is eventually going to happen: "Had I had sense I would have gone home," "It was my great misfortune that I did not ship myself as a sailor," etc. The reader understands from the start that the story will not work out as Robinson had initially hoped. Alongside any good things that happen in the moment, we are waiting for the impending doom to strike. It is difficult for us tohave any hope when Robinson himself has none. Throughout this first part he constantly wavers as to whether or not he made the right decision in running away from home, which is due to the fact that his personality is simply wavering and uncertain. The image of the bobbing sea, constant only in its changes, correlates well to Robinson's persona. His sense of agency comes in spurts of movement. Atfirst he decides to run away, but confesses the plan to his mother. Having seen that he will not be able to get his father's consent, he steals away secretly on the voyage to London. The reader wonders why he bothered to try convincing his parents in the first place. His decisive actions are brief at best. As soon as he is on the ship, he becomes ill, fearful, and regrets leaving. As soon as theweather lightens up, he is happy. Robinson's impressionable youth is apparent in this inability to stay rooted to one emotion or decision. His refusal to go home because he does not want to suffer embarrassment and laughter from the neighbours gives new meaning to the cliched cutting off the nose to spite the face. Robinson is all too willing to take on roles such as sailor and trader with which hehas no experience. Clearly he does not know who he is, or who he is supposed to be. We cannot ever be sure that he has faith in himself. This lack of confidence paints a very timid picture of the narrator. It is a picture, though, of who Robinson used to be. The disparity between the narrator and the character he describes is crucial to note. At many moments we cannot help thinking that Robinson...
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