Books and Movies Reviews

Robinson Crusoe

Books about voyages and new discoveries were exceedingly popular in thefirst quarter of the 18-th century and many stories of this kind had been written but while Defoe was busy with politics he did not think of also trying his hand at it. However a story that appeared in one of the Steele's magazines, "The Englishmen", attracted his attention. It was about Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch sailor. He had left England for a voyage to the Southern Seas in 1704. The ship was not seaworthy, and Selkirk who had quarreled with his captain insisted on going ashore. He was put ashore on a desert island where he lived quite alone for 4 years and 4 months. In 1709 he was picked up by a passing vessel. Steel had heard the story from the captain of the ship that had brought Selkirk home. Selkirk's story of the island of Juan Ferdinance interested Defoe so much that he decided to use the story for a book. His hero, Robinson Crusoe, however, spent 26 years on a desert island.
The novel is a praise to human labour and the triumph of man over nature. Labour and fortitude help Robinson to endure hardships. They save him from despair. The very process of hard work gives him satisfaction.
Defoe was a great master of realistic detail. When reading his minute description of Crusoe's life and work, one fells that the person who wrote it must have lived through all the adventures himself, because they are so well described, even though most of them are rather improbable. Defoe's sense of contact with the reader is felt in the clarity of his style.
The charm of the novel lies in Robinson as a person. Defoe shows the development of his hero. T the beginning of the story we see an unexperienced youth, a rather frivolous boy, who then becomes a strong willed man, able to withstand all the calamities of his unusual destiny. Alone and defenseless Crusoe tried to be reasonable in order to master his despondency (loss of hope and…

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