Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe Essay

1184 Words 5 Pages
Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

The balance between agency and the challenges to it proposed by unexplained or supernatural occurrences is of central importance in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Additionally, the question of human control over various surroundings seemingly develops commensurate to the title character’s increased reliance on and understanding of his faith. That particular conflict is a replication of the overall theme of the narrative — Crusoe’s finding increasing discomfort the more familiar he becomes with his environment. For Defoe, then, familiarity is nothing if not problematic. Crusoe’s at times prosperous (and later at least tolerable and regimented) routine is interrupted at almost regular intervals
…show more content…
Once relegated to the island, Crusoe meticulously keeps a journal, which serves as a vehicle for Defoe to both underlie the regimented, repetitive struggle of self-sufficiency for Crusoe. The journal also implicitly measures the importance of writing — especially Defoe’s own, since the narrative is posited as truth and therefore relies on its writer to exist literally as an author, an authority figure. Crusoe often speaks to the importance of record keeping (his anniversary fasting) and it is not entirely coincidence that Crusoe’s desire for other human contact, whether through fear, curiosity or loneliness, blooms only when he runs out of ink. One of the most important entries in Crusoe’s journal is that which details a vision of a mysterious demonic figure descending upon the island, foreshadowing Friday’s and the other savages’ arrival on the island while pointing Crusoe’s obvious religious tensions.

"…I saw a Man descend from a great black Cloud, in a bright Flame of Fire, and light upon the Ground: He was all over as bright as a Flame, so that I could just bear to look towards him; his Countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe. … He was no sooner landed upon the Earth, but he moved forward towards me, with a long Spear or Weapon in his Hand, to kill me; and…he spoke to me…all that I can
Open Document