Robinson Crusoe

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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe 1719 1st edition.jpg
Title page from the first edition
AuthorDaniel Defoe
Original titleThe Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself.
CountryGreat Britain
LanguageEnglish
GenreAdventure, historical fiction
PublisherWilliam Taylor
Publication date
25 April 1719 (303 years ago) (1719-04-25)
Followed byThe Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe 

Robinson Crusoe[a] (/ˈkrs/) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.[2]

Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer) – a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical desert island near the coasts of Venezuela and Trinidad (roughly resembling Tobago[3][4]), encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued. The story has been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on a Pacific island called "Más a Tierra" (now part of Chile) which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966.[5]: 23–24 

Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre. It is generally seen as a contender for the first English novel.[6] Before the end of 1719, the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history, spawning so many imitations, not only in literature but also in film, television, and radio, that its name is used to define a genre, the Robinsonade.

Plot summary[edit]

Pictorial map of Crusoe's island, the "Island of Despair", showing incidents from the book

Robinson Crusoe (the family name corrupted from the German name "Kreutznaer") sets sail from Kingston upon Hull on a sea voyage in August 1651, against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a career in law. After a tumultuous journey where his ship is wrecked in a storm, his desire for the sea remains so strong that he sets out to sea again. This journey, too, ends in disaster, as the ship is taken over by Salé pirates (the Salé Rovers) and Crusoe is enslaved by a Moor. Two years later, he escapes in a boat with a boy named Xury; a captain of a Portuguese ship off the west coast of Africa rescues him. The ship is en route to Brazil. Crusoe sells Xury to the captain. With the captain's help, Crusoe procures a plantation.

Years later, Crusoe joins an expedition to purchase slaves from Africa, but he is shipwrecked in a storm about forty miles out to sea on an island near the Venezuelan coast (which he calls the Island of Despair) near the mouth of the Orinoco river on 30 September 1659.[1]: Chapter 23  He observes the latitude as 9 degrees and 22 minutes north. He sees penguins and seals on his island. As for his arrival there, only he and three animals, the captain's dog and two cats, survive the shipwreck. Overcoming his despair, he fetches arms, tools and other supplies from the ship before it breaks apart and sinks. He builds a fenced-in habitat near a cave which he excavates. By making marks in a wooden cross, he creates a calendar. By using tools salvaged from the ship, and some which he makes himself, he hunts, grows barley and rice, dries grapes to make raisins, learns to make pottery and raises goats. He also adopts a small parrot. He reads the Bible and becomes religious, thanking God for his fate in which nothing is missing but human society.

More years pass and Crusoe discovers cannibals, who occasionally visit the island to kill and eat prisoners. At first he plans to kill them for committing an abomination but later realizes he has no right to do so, as the cannibals do not knowingly commit a crime. He dreams of obtaining one or two servants by freeing some prisoners; when a prisoner escapes, Crusoe helps him, naming his new companion "Friday" after the day of the week he appeared. Crusoe then teaches him English and converts him to Christianity.

After more cannibals arrive to partake in a feast, Crusoe and Friday kill most of them and save two prisoners. One is Friday's father and the other is a Spaniard, who informs Crusoe about other Spaniards shipwrecked on the mainland. A plan is devised wherein the Spaniard would return to the mainland with Friday's father and bring back the others, build a ship, and sail to a Spanish port.

Before the Spaniards return, an English ship appears; mutineers have commandeered the vessel and intend to maroon their captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship's captain strike a deal in which Crusoe helps the captain and the loyal sailors retake the ship. With their ringleader executed by the captain, the mutineers take up Crusoe's offer to be marooned on the island rather than being returned to England as prisoners to be hanged. Before embarking for England, Crusoe shows the mutineers how he survived on the island and states that there will be more men coming.

The route taken by Robinson Crusoe over the Pyrenees mountains in chapters 19 & 20 of Defoe's novel, as envisaged by Joseph Ribas

Crusoe leaves the island 19 December 1686 and arrives in England on 11 June 1687. He learns that his family believed him dead; as a result, he was left nothing in his father's will. Crusoe departs for Lisbon to reclaim the profits of his estate in Brazil, which has granted him much wealth. In conclusion, he transports his wealth overland to England from Portugal to avoid traveling by sea. Friday accompanies him and, en route, they endure one last adventure together as they fight off famished wolves while crossing the Pyrenees.[7]

Characters[edit]

  • Robinson Crusoe: The narrator of the novel who gets shipwrecked.
  • Friday: A Caribbean tribesman who Crusoe saves from cannibalism, and subsequently named "Friday." He becomes a servant and friend to Crusoe.
  • Xury: Servant to Crusoe after they escape slavery from the Captain of the Rover together. He is later given to the Portuguese Sea Captain as an indentured servant.
  • The Widow: Friend to Crusoe who looks over his assets while he is away.
  • Portuguese Sea Captain: Rescues Crusoe after he escapes from slavery. Later helps him with his money and plantation.
  • The Spaniard: A man rescued by Crusoe who later helps him escape the island.
  • Robinson Crusoe's father: A merchant named Kreutznaer.
  • Captain of the Rover: Moorish pirate of Sallee who captures and enslaves Crusoe.
  • Traitorous crew members: members of a mutinied ship who appear towards the end of novel
  • The Savages: Cannibals that come to Crusoe's Island and who represent a threat to Crusoe's religious and moral convictions as well as his own safety.

Religion[edit]

Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719 during the Enlightenment period of the 18th century. In the novel, Crusoe sheds light on different aspects of Christianity and his beliefs. The book can be considered a spiritual autobiography as Crusoe's views on religion change dramatically from the start of his story to the end.

At the beginning of the book, Crusoe is concerned with sailing away from home, whereupon he meets violent storms at sea. He promises to God that, if he survived that storm, he would be a dutiful Christian man and head home according to his parents' wishes. However, when Crusoe survives the storm he decides to keep sailing and notes that he could not fulfill the promises he had made during his turmoil.[1]: 6 

After Robinson is shipwrecked on his island, he begins to suffer from extreme isolation. He turns to his animals to talk to, such as his parrot but misses human contact. He turns to God during his time of turmoil in search of solace and guidance. He retrieves a Bible from a ship that was washed along the shore and begins to memorize verses. In times of trouble, he would open the Bible to a random page where he would read a verse that he believed God had made him open and read, and that would ease his mind. Therefore, during the time in which Crusoe was shipwrecked, he became very religious and often would turn to God for help.

When Crusoe meets his servant Friday, he begins to teach him scripture and about Christianity. He tries to teach Friday to the best of his ability about God and what Heaven and Hell are. His purpose is to convert Friday into being a Christian and to his values and beliefs. "During a long time that Friday has now been with me, and that he began to speak to me, and understand me, I was not wanting to lay a foundation of religious knowledge in his mind; particularly I asked him one time who made him?"[1]: 158 

Lynne W. Hinojosa has argued that throughout the novel Crusoe interprets scripture in a way that "[s]cripture never has ramifications beyond his own needs and situations" (651). For Hinojosa, Crusoe places a biblical narrative inside himself unlike earlier interpretations of scripture in which the individual was subsumed by the biblical narrative. For this reason, Hinojosa contends that "Crusoe displays no desire… to carry out the mission of the church or to be reunited with society in order to participate in God's plan for human history" (652).[8]

Animal domestication[edit]

"Every animal, Edwards learned, had its own peculiarities and presented different problems."[9] The character Robinson Crusoe encounters and domesticates many animals. Each species will also serve a purpose to Crusoe while he is struggling to survive on the island. Crusoe acquires parrots, sheep, a dog, and multiple cats along his extended stay. Whether or not that he had familial relationships with his pet dog or parrot are up for debate (although the diaries of the Crusoe archetype, Alexander Selkirk, state that he used his island's goats for sexual gratification). The goat herd that he gathers mainly provided meat, while the dog and cats were companions.

In the 1997 movie adaption of Robinson Crusoe, the dialog between Friday and Crusoe mourning his dog Skipper shows the view that the main character had on animal's souls. "Friday: Skipper go to Crusoe's God? Robinson Crusoe: No. Dogs don't have mortal souls. Only men have mortal souls. Friday: Too bad. Good dog."[10] Moral and ethical dilemmas that deal with animals and survival are a prevalent topic within the novel and movie adaptation. Crusoe was also in a very precarious situation and needed to do drastic things in order to survive. Therefore, the combination of his ingrained morals and his precarious situation may have led to his decisions of his treatment towards the domestic animals found on the island and those that he took with him.

One issue that targets animal cruelty in the book is his extermination of cats that traveled and survived the crash with him on the island, "In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family; I had been concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead, and I heard no more tidings of her till, to my astonishment, she came home about the end of August with three kittens. This was the more strange to me because, though I had killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was quite a different kind from our European cats; but the young cats were the same kind of house-breed as the old one; and both my cats being females, I thought it very strange. But from these three cats I afterwards came to be so pestered with cats that I was forced to kill them like vermin or wild beasts, and to drive them from my house as much as possible."[11] His surplus killing of cats is simply because they rely on him yet he cannot provide sustenance for them. They become an invasive species to his small area.

Sources and real-life castaways[edit]

Statue of Robinson Crusoe at Alexander Selkirk's birthplace of Lower Largo by Thomas Stuart Burnett
Book on Alexander Selkirk

There were many stories of real-life castaways in Defoe's time. Most famously, Defoe's suspected inspiration for Robinson Crusoe is thought to be Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years on the uninhabited island of Más a Tierra (renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966)[5]: 23–24  in the Juan Fernández Islands off the Chilean coast. Selkirk was rescued in 1709 by Woodes Rogers during an English expedition that led to the publication of Selkirk's adventures in both A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World and A Cruising Voyage Around the World in 1712. According to Tim Severin, "Daniel Defoe, a secretive man, neither confirmed or denied that Selkirk was the model for the hero of his book. Apparently written in six months or less, Robinson Crusoe was a publishing phenomenon."[12]

The author of Crusoe's Island, Andrew Lambert states, "the ideas that a single, real Crusoe is a 'false premise' because Crusoe's story is a complex compound of all the other buccaneer survival stories."[13]:  not cited [full citation needed] However, Robinson Crusoe is far from a copy of Rogers' account: Becky Little argues three events that distinguish the two stories:

  1. Robinson Crusoe was shipwrecked while Selkirk decided to leave his ship thus marooning himself;
  2. The island Crusoe was shipwrecked on had already been inhabited, unlike the solitary nature of Selkirk's adventures.
  3. The last and most crucial difference between the two stories is Selkirk was a privateer, looting and raiding coastal cities during the War of Spanish Succession.

"The economic and dynamic thrust of the book is completely alien to what the buccaneers are doing," Lambert says. "The buccaneers just want to capture some loot and come home and drink it all, and Crusoe isn’t doing that at all. He's an economic imperialist: He's creating a world of trade and profit."[13]:  not cited [full citation needed]

Other possible sources for the narrative include Ibn Tufail's Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, and Spanish sixteenth-century sailor Pedro Serrano. Ibn Tufail's Hayy ibn Yaqdhan is a twelfth-century philosophical novel also set on a desert island, and translated from Arabic into Latin and English a number of times in the half-century preceding Defoe's novel.[14][15][16][17]

Pedro Luis Serrano was supposed to be a Spanish sailor who was marooned for seven or eight years on a small desert island after shipwrecking in the 1520s on a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua. He had no access to fresh water and lived off the blood and flesh of sea turtles and birds. He was quite a celebrity when he returned to Europe; before passing away, he recorded the hardships suffered in documents that show the endless anguish and suffering, the product of absolute abandonment to his fate, now held in the General Archive of the Indies, in Seville.[citation needed] There is some doubt of the historicity of the tale; nonetheless it is possible that Defoe heard his story in one of his visits to Spain before becoming a writer.

Yet another source for Defoe's novel may have been the Robert Knox account of his abduction by the King of Ceylon Rajasinha II of Kandy in 1659 in An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon.[18][19]

Severin (2002)[5] unravels a much wider, and more plausible range of potential sources of inspiration, and concludes by identifying castaway surgeon Henry Pitman as the most likely:

An employee of the Duke of Monmouth, Pitman played a part in the Monmouth Rebellion. His short book about his desperate escape from a Caribbean penal colony, followed by his shipwrecking and subsequent desert island misadventures, was published by John Taylor of Paternoster Row, London, whose son William Taylor later published Defoe's novel.

Severin argues that since Pitman appears to have lived in the lodgings above the father's publishing house and that Defoe himself was a mercer in the area at the time, Defoe may have met Pitman in person and learned of his experiences first-hand, or possibly through submission of a draft.[5] Severin also discusses another publicized case of a marooned man named only as Will, of the Miskito people of Central America, who may have led to the depiction of Friday.[20]

Secord (1963)[21] analyses the composition of Robinson Crusoe and gives a list of possible sources of the story, rejecting the common theory that the story of Selkirk is Defoe's only source.

Reception and sequels[edit]

Plaque in Queen's Gardens, Hull, showing him on his island

The book was published on 25 April 1719. Before the end of the year, this first volume had run through four editions.

By the end of the nineteenth century, no book in the history of Western literature had more editions, spin-offs, and translations (even into languages such as Inuktitut, Coptic, and Maltese) than Robinson Crusoe, with more than 700 such alternative versions, including children's versions with pictures and no text.[22]

The term "Robinsonade" was coined to describe the genre of stories similar to Robinson Crusoe.

Defoe went on to write a lesser-known sequel, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719). It was intended to be the last part of his stories, according to the original title page of the sequel's first edition, but a third book was published (1720) Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With his Vision of the Angelick World.

Interpretations of the novel[edit]

Crusoe standing over Friday after he frees him from the cannibals

"He is the true prototype of the British colonist. ... The whole Anglo-Saxon spirit in Crusoe: the manly independence, the unconscious cruelty, the persistence, the slow yet efficient intelligence, the sexual apathy, the calculating taciturnity."

Irish novelist James Joyce[23]

The novel has been subject to numerous analyses and interpretations since its publication. In a sense, Crusoe attempts to replicate his society on the island. This is achieved through the use of European technology, agriculture and even a rudimentary political hierarchy. Several times in the novel Crusoe refers to himself as the "king" of the island, whilst the captain describes him as the "governor" to the mutineers. At the very end of the novel the island is referred to as a "colony". The idealized master-servant relationship Defoe depicts between Crusoe and Friday can also be seen in terms of cultural assimilation, with Crusoe representing the "enlightened" European whilst Friday is the "savage" who can only be redeemed from his cultural manners through assimilation into Crusoe's culture. Nonetheless, Defoe used Friday to criticize the Spanish colonization of the Americas.[24]

According to J.P. Hunter, Robinson is not a hero but an everyman. He begins as a wanderer, aimless on a sea he does not understand, and ends as a pilgrim, crossing a final mountain to enter the promised land. The book tells the story of how Robinson becomes closer to God, not through listening to sermons in a church but through spending time alone amongst nature with only a Bible to read.

Conversely, cultural critic and literary scholar Michael Gurnow views the novel from a Rousseauian perspective: The central character's movement from a primitive state to a more civilized one is interpreted as Crusoe's denial of humanity's state of nature.[25]

Robinson Crusoe is filled with religious aspects. Defoe was a Puritan moralist and normally worked in the guide tradition, writing books on how to be a good Puritan Christian, such as The New Family Instructor (1727) and Religious Courtship (1722). While Robinson Crusoe is far more than a guide, it shares many of the themes and theological and moral points of view.

"Crusoe" may have been taken from Timothy Cruso, a classmate of Defoe's who had written guide books, including God the Guide of Youth (1695), before dying at an early age – just eight years before Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe. Cruso would have been remembered by contemporaries and the association with guide books is clear. It has even been speculated that God the Guide of Youth inspired Robinson Crusoe because of a number of passages in that work that are closely tied to the novel.[26] A leitmotif of the novel is the Christian notion of providence, penitence, and redemption.[27] Crusoe comes to repent of the follies of his youth. Defoe also foregrounds this theme by arranging highly significant events in the novel to occur on Crusoe's birthday. The denouement culminates not only in Crusoe's deliverance from the island, but his spiritual deliverance, his acceptance of Christian doctrine, and in his intuition of his own salvation.

When confronted with the cannibals, Crusoe wrestles with the problem of cultural relativism. Despite his disgust, he feels unjustified in holding the natives morally responsible for a practice so deeply ingrained in their culture. Nevertheless, he retains his belief in an absolute standard of morality; he regards cannibalism as a "national crime" and forbids Friday from practising it.

In classical, neoclassical and Austrian economics, Crusoe is regularly used to illustrate the theory of production and choice in the absence of trade, money, and prices.[28] Crusoe must allocate effort between production and leisure and must choose between alternative production possibilities to meet his needs. The arrival of Friday is then used to illustrate the possibility of trade and the gains that result.

One day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand.

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, 1719

The work has been variously read as an allegory for the development of civilization; as a manifesto of economic individualism; and as an expression of European colonial desires. Significantly, it also shows the importance of repentance and illustrates the strength of Defoe's religious convictions. Critic M.E. Novak supports the connection between the religious and economic themes within Robinson Crusoe, citing Defoe's religious ideology as the influence for his portrayal of Crusoe's economic ideals, and his support of the individual. Novak cites Ian Watt's extensive research[29] which explores the impact that several Romantic Era novels had against economic individualism, and the reversal of those ideals that takes place within Robinson Crusoe.[30]

In Tess Lewis's review, "The heroes we deserve", of Ian Watt's article, she furthers Watt's argument with a development on Defoe's intention as an author, "to use individualism to signify nonconformity in religion and the admirable qualities of self-reliance".[31]: 678  This further supports the belief that Defoe used aspects of spiritual autobiography to introduce the benefits of individualism to a not entirely convinced religious community.[31] J. Paul Hunter has written extensively on the subject of Robinson Crusoe as apparent spiritual autobiography, tracing the influence of Defoe's Puritan ideology through Crusoe's narrative, and his acknowledgement of human imperfection in pursuit of meaningful spiritual engagements – the cycle of "repentance [and] deliverance."[32]

This spiritual pattern and its episodic nature, as well as the re-discovery of earlier female novelists, have kept Robinson Crusoe from being classified as a novel, let alone the first novel written in English – despite the blurbs on some book covers. Early critics, such as Robert Louis Stevenson, admired it, saying that the footprint scene in Crusoe was one of the four greatest in English literature and most unforgettable; more prosaically, Wesley Vernon has seen the origins of forensic podiatry in this episode.[33] It has inspired a new genre, the Robinsonade, as works such as Johann David Wyss' The Swiss Family Robinson (1812) adapt its premise and has provoked modern postcolonial responses, including J. M. Coetzee's Foe (1986) and Michel Tournier's Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique (in English, Friday, or, The Other Island) (1967). Two sequels followed: Defoe's The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719) and his Serious reflections during the life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe: with his Vision of the angelick world (1720). Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) is in part a parody of Defoe's adventure novel.

Legacy[edit]

Influence on language[edit]

The book proved so popular that the names of the two main protagonists have entered the language[which?]. During World War II, people who decided to stay and hide in the ruins of the German-occupied city of Warsaw for a period of three winter months, from October to January 1945, when they were rescued by the Red Army, were later called Robinson Crusoes of Warsaw (Robinsonowie warszawscy).[34] Robinson Crusoe usually referred to his servant as "my man Friday", from which the term "Man Friday" (or "Girl Friday") originated.

Influence on literature[edit]

Robinson Crusoe marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre.[35] Its success led to many imitators, and castaway novels, written by Ambrose Evans, Penelope Aubin, and others, became quite popular in Europe in the 18th and early 19th centuries.[36] Most of these have fallen into obscurity, but some became established, including The Swiss Family Robinson, which borrowed Crusoe's first name for its title.

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published seven years after Robinson Crusoe, may be read as a systematic rebuttal of Defoe's optimistic account of human capability. In The Unthinkable Swift: The Spontaneous Philosophy of a Church of England Man, Warren Montag argues that Swift was concerned about refuting the notion that the individual precedes society, as Defoe's novel seems to suggest. In Treasure Island, author Robert Louis Stevenson parodies Crusoe with the character of Ben Gunn, a friendly castaway who was marooned for many years, has a wild appearance, dresses entirely in goat skin, and constantly talks about providence.

In Jean-Jacques Rousseau's treatise on education, Emile, or on Education, the one book the protagonist is allowed to read before the age of twelve is Robinson Crusoe. Rousseau wants Emile to identify himself as Crusoe so he can rely upon himself for all of his needs. In Rousseau's view, Emile needs to imitate Crusoe's experience, allowing necessity to determine what is to be learned and accomplished. This is one of the main themes of Rousseau's educational model.

Robinson Crusoe bookstore on İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul

In The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, Beatrix Potter directs the reader to Robinson Crusoe for a detailed description of the island (the land of the Bong tree) to which her eponymous hero moves. In Wilkie Collins' most popular novel, The Moonstone, one of the chief characters and narrators, Gabriel Betteredge, has faith in all that Robinson Crusoe says and uses the book for a sort of divination. He considers The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe the finest book ever written, reads it over and over again, and considers a man but poorly read if he had happened not to read the book.

French novelist Michel Tournier published Friday, or, The Other Island (French Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique) in 1967. His novel explores themes including civilization versus nature, the psychology of solitude, as well as death and sexuality in a retelling of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe story. Tournier's Robinson chooses to remain on the island, rejecting civilization when offered the chance to escape 28 years after being shipwrecked. Likewise, in 1963, J. M. G. Le Clézio, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, published the novel Le Proces-Verbal. The book's epigraph is a quote from Robinson Crusoe, and like Crusoe, the novel's protagonist Adam Pollo suffers long periods of loneliness.

"Crusoe in England", a 183 line poem by Elizabeth Bishop, imagines Crusoe near the end of his life, recalling his time of exile with a mixture of bemusement and regret.

J. G. Ballard's 1974 novel Concrete Island is a modern rewriting of Robinson Crusoe.

J. M. Coetzee's 1986 novel Foe recounts the tale of Robinson Crusoe from the perspective of a woman named Susan Barton.

In the novel" Concrete Island" by J.G. Ballard he is able to use Robinson Crusoe as a sort of inspiration for his own story about isolation. Although notable Ballard switches out the deserted island scenario and replaces it with a concrete island below a high speed highway. The novel features many of the classic castaway elements as well. Our protagonist Robert becomes unable to leave this concrete island and he eventually discovers that he is not alone.

Andy Weir takes the classic Crusoe tale and gives in a innovative modern twist with him famous novel, The Martian. Andy Weir takes the chance to completely change the deserted island setting. Instead of Mark Watney being suck on a deserted island he is in fact the first man to become stranded in space. He manages to overcome incredible odds and like Crusoe uses his ingenuity and skills to overcome his daunting situation

In 1954 William Golding came out with his ever-famous novel Lord Of The Flies. This is a novel about a group of schoolboys who find themselves stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. There are no adults to tell them what to do and quickly the boys are plunged into a world of chaos and terror.

Comics adaptations[edit]

The story was also illustrated and published in comic book form by Classics Illustrated in 1943 and 1957. The much improved 1957 version was inked / penciled by Sam Citron, who is most well known for his contributions to the earlier issues of Superman.[37] British illustrator Reginald Ben Davis drew a female version of the story titled Jill Crusoe, Castaway (1950–1959).[38]

Stage adaptations[edit]

A pantomime version of Robinson Crusoe was staged at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1796, with Joseph Grimaldi as Pierrot in the harlequinade. The piece was produced again in 1798, this time starring Grimaldi as Clown. In 1815, Grimaldi played Friday in another version of Robinson Crusoe.[39]

Jacques Offenbach wrote an opéra comique called Robinson Crusoé, which was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 23 November 1867. This was based on the British pantomime version rather than the novel itself. The libretto was by Eugène Cormon and Hector-Jonathan Crémieux.

There have been a number of other stage adaptations, including those by Isaac Pocock, Jim Helsinger and Steve Shaw and a musical by Victor Prince.

Film adaptations[edit]

There is a 1927 silent film titled Robinson Crusoe. The Soviet 3D film Robinson Crusoe was produced in 1947.

One of the first adaptations that we still currently have access to, is from 1932 titled MR. ROBINSON CRUSOE. This film was produced by Douglas Fairbanks Sr and was directed by Eddie Sutherland. Set in Tahiti we get to see if Crusoe himself can survive on a desert island for almost a year. This film while not considered a flop was not very successful either.

Luis Buñuel directed Adventures of Robinson Crusoe starring Dan O'Herlihy, released in 1954. Luis Buñuel filmed an account which at first viewing appeared to be a rather simple straightforward telling of Robinson Crusoe. A big stand out with this film is that Bunuel breaks the previous films’ traditions of having Friday as a slave and Crusoe as the master. The two manage to become actually friends and they operate essentially as equals.

Walt Disney later comedicized the novel with Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., featuring Dick Van Dyke. In this version, Friday became a beautiful woman, but named 'Wednesday' instead.

Variations on the theme include the 1954 Miss Robin Crusoe, with a female castaway, played by Amanda Blake, and a female Friday, and in 1965 we get the film adaptation Robinson Crusoe on Mars, starring Paul Mantee, with an alien Friday portrayed by Victor Lundin and an added character played by Adam West. Byron Haskins manages to underscore Crusoe’s removal and field of the red planet that we call mars. Our main character meets a Friday-esque character but makes no effort to try and understand his language. Like the book, in this film, Friday is trying to escape from cruel masters. This movie has lots of appeal to fans of adventures stories and the film has a distinctive visual style that adds to its character.

Peter O'Toole and Richard Roundtree co-starred in a 1975 film Man Friday which sardonically portrayed Crusoe as incapable of seeing his dark-skinned companion as anything but an inferior creature, while Friday is more enlightened and sympathetic. In 1988, Aidan Quinn portrayed Robinson Crusoe in the film Crusoe. A 1997 movie entitled Robinson Crusoe starred Pierce Brosnan and received limited commercial success. The 2000 film Cast Away, with Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an island for many years, also borrows much from the Robinson Crusoe story.

In 1981, Czechoslovakian director and animator Stanislav Látal made a version of the story under the name Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, a Sailor from York combining traditional and stop-motion animation. The movie was coproduced by regional West Germany broadcaster Südwestfunk Baden-Baden.[citation needed]

Animated adaptations[edit]

In 1988, an animated cartoon for children called Classic Adventure Stories Robinson Crusoe was released. Crusoe's early sea travels are simplified, as his ship outruns the Salé Rovers pirates but then gets wrecked in a storm.[40]

TV adaptations[edit]

In 1964, a French film production crew made a 13 part serial of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. It starred Robert Hoffmann. The black and white series was dubbed into English and German. In the UK, the BBC broadcast it on numerous occasions between 1965 and 1977.

Two 2000s reality television series, Expedition Robinson and Survivor, have their contestants try to survive on an isolated location, usually an island. The concept is influenced by Robinson Crusoe.

Inverted Crusoeism[edit]

The term inverted Crusoeism is coined by J. G. Ballard. The paradigm of Robinson Crusoe has been a recurring topic in Ballard's work.[41] Whereas the original Robinson Crusoe became a castaway against his own will, Ballard's protagonists often choose to maroon themselves; hence inverted Crusoeism (e.g., Concrete Island). The concept provides a reason as to why people would deliberately maroon themselves on a remote island; in Ballard's work, becoming a castaway is as much a healing and empowering process as an entrapping one, enabling people to discover a more meaningful and vital existence.[42]

Musical references[edit]

Musician Dean briefly mentions Crusoe in one of his music videos. In the official music video for Instagram, there is a part when viewers hear Dean's distorted voice; "Sometimes, I feel alone ... I feel like I'm Robinson Crusoe ..."

Robinson Crusoe is also mentioned in the song "I'm a Dog" by Canadian band Crash Test Dummies.[43] Written from the perspective of a dog puzzling over human philosophy, the song has this stanza:

There's some debate about whether instincts should be held in check
Well, I suppose that I'm a liberal in this respect
I can't say I liked Robinson Crusoe
But at least he didn't tie his dogs up at night

Canadian hip-hop group, The Rascalz, in their song featuring Barrington Levy and K-Os, Top of the World, reference him, saying: “Now, this is a message in the bottle, like Robinson Caruso”.

Evelyn Dall sings "Poor Robinson Crusoe" in 1937 lamenting his lack of a partner. https://www.evelyndall.com/evelyn-dall-the-recordings

In the theme song of Sherwood Schwartz's Gilligan's Island, a 60s television show that was about a group of castaways on a deserted island, Robinson Crusoe is mentioned in the Lyric "like Robinson Crusoe, they're primitive as can be."

In his song, "Amish Paradise", 'Weird' Al Yankovic mentions Robinson Crusoe in the line "Like Robinson Crusoe, it's as primitive as can be' which is itself a reference to the Ballad of Gilligan's Isle.

Honorable Mentions[edit]

Daniel Defoe's book "Robinson Crusoe" was shown in the 1966 Film Fahrenheit 451.

Editions[edit]

  • The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe: of York, mariner: who lived twenty eight years all alone in an un-inhabited island on the coast of America, near the mouth of the great river of Oroonoque; ... Written by himself., Early English Books Online, 1719. Defoe, Daniel (January 2007). "1719 text". Oxford Text Archive. hdl:20.500.12024/K061280.000.
  • Robinson Crusoe, Oneworld Classics 2008. ISBN 978-1-84749-012-4
  • Robinson Crusoe, Penguin Classics 2003. ISBN 978-0-14-143982-2
  • Robinson Crusoe, Oxford World's Classics 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-283342-6
  • Robinson Crusoe, Bantam Classics
  • Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe, edited by Michael Shinagel (New York: Norton, 1994), ISBN 978-0393964523. Includes a selection of critical essays.
  • Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Dover Publications, 1998.
  • Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Rand McNally & Company. The Windermere Series 1916. No ISBN. Includes 7 illustrations by Milo Winter

See also[edit]

From real life[edit]

From television and films[edit]

Novels[edit]

Stage adaptations[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Full title: The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Defoe, Daniel (1998-06-10) [1719]. Robinson Crusoe. hdl:20.500.12024/K061280.000. ISBN 9780486404271.
  2. ^ Heitman, Danny (2013-01-11). "Fiction as authentic as fact". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  3. ^ Rhead, Louis. LETTER TO THE EDITOR: "Tobago Robinson Crusoe's Island", The New York Times, 5 August 1899.
  4. ^ "Robinson Crusoe and Tobago", Island Guide
  5. ^ a b c d Severin, Tim (2002). In Search of Robinson Crusoe. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07698-X.
  6. ^ Drabble, Margaret, ed. (1996). "Defoe". The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 265.
  7. ^ Ribas, Joseph [1995]. Robinson Crusoé dans les Pyrénées. Éditions Loubatières. ISBN 2-86266-235-6.
  8. ^ Hinojosa, Lynne Walhout (September 2012). "Reading the Self, Reading the Bible (or is it a Novel?): The Differing Typological Hermeneutics of Augustine's Confessions and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe". Christianity & Literature. 61 (4): 641–665. doi:10.1177/014833311206100410. ISSN 0148-3331.
  9. ^ Stowe, Leland (1957). Crusoe of Lonesome Lake. New York: Random House. p. 98. ISBN 0-394-42092-6. OCLC 1209983.
  10. ^ "Robinson Crusoe Quotes". Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC. Retrieved 2021-12-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Defoe, Daniel (1719). Robinson Crusoe. William Taylor. p. 101.
  12. ^ Severin, Tim (2002). "Marooned: The Metamorphosis of Alexander Selkirk". The American Scholar. 71 (3): 73–82. JSTOR 41213335.
  13. ^ a b Little, Becky (2016-09-28). "Debunking the myth of the 'real' Robinson Crusoe". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  14. ^ Hassan, Nawal Muhammad (1980). Hayy bin Yaqzan and Robinson Crusoe: A study of an early Arabic impact on English literature. Al-Rashid House.
  15. ^ Glasse, Cyril (2001). New Encyclopedia of Islam. Rowman Altamira. p. 202. ISBN 0-7591-0190-6.
  16. ^ Haque, Amber (2004). "Psychology from Islamic perspective: Contributions of early Muslim scholars and challenges to contemporary Muslim psychologists". Journal of Religion and Health. 43 (4): 357–377, esp.369. doi:10.1007/s10943-004-4302-z. S2CID 38740431.
  17. ^ Wainwright, Martin (2003-03-22). "Desert island scripts". The Guardian. Review. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24.
  18. ^ Knox, Robert (1911). An Historical Account of the Island Ceylon based on the 1659 original text. Glasgow, UK: James MacLehose and Sons.
  19. ^ see Alan Filreis
  20. ^ Dampier, William (1697). A New Voyage round the World. London: James Knapton.
  21. ^ Secord, Arthur Wellesley (1963) [1924]. Studies in the Narrative Method of Defoe. New York, NY: Russell & Russell. pp. 21–111.
  22. ^ Watt, Ian (April 1951). "Robinson Crusoe as a myth". Essays in Criticism.
    Watt, Ian (1994). Robinson Crusoe as a Myth. Norton Critical Edition (Second) (reprint ed.).
  23. ^ Joyce, James (1964). Translated by Prescott, Joseph. "Daniel Defoe". Buffalo Studies (English translation of Italian manuscript ed.). 1: 24–25.
  24. ^ "Colonial Representation in Robinson Crusoe, Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India" (PDF). Dspace.bracu.ac.bd. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  25. ^ Gurnow, Michael (Summer 2010). "'The folly of beginning a work before we count the cost': Anarcho-primitivism in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe". Fifth Estate. No. 383. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  26. ^ Hunter, J. Paul (1966). The Reluctant Pilgrim. Norton Critical Edition.
  27. ^ Greif, Martin J. (Summer 1966). "The Conversion of Robinson Crusoe". SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900. 6 (3): 551–574. doi:10.2307/449560. JSTOR 449560.
  28. ^ Varian, Hal R. (1990). Intermediate microeconomics: A modern approach. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-95924-6.
  29. ^ Watt, Ian. Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe.[full citation needed]
  30. ^ Novak, Maximillian E. (Summer 1961). "Robinson Crusoe's "original sin"". SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900. Restoration and Eighteenth Century. 1 (3): 19–29. doi:10.2307/449302. JSTOR 449302.
  31. ^ a b Lewis, Tess (1997). Watt, Ian (ed.). "The heroes we deserve". The Hudson Review. 49 (4): 675–680. doi:10.2307/3851909. JSTOR 3851909.
  32. ^ Halewood, William H. (1969-02-01). "The Reluctant Pilgrim: Defoe's emblematic method and quest for form in Robinson Crusoe. J.Paul Hunter, Defoe, and spiritual autobiography. G.A. Starr". Modern Philology. 66 (3): 274–278. doi:10.1086/390091.
  33. ^ West, Richard (1998). Daniel Defoe: The life and strange, surprising adventures. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0-7867-0557-3.
  34. ^ Engelking, Barbara; Libionka, Dariusz (2009). Żydzi w Powstańczej Warszawie. Warsaw, PL: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów. pp. 260–293. ISBN 978-83-926831-1-7.
  35. ^ Buss, Kathleen; Karnowski, Lee (2000). Reading and Writing Literary Genres. International Reading Association. p. 7. ISBN 978-0872072572.
  36. ^ Brown, Laura (2003). "Ch. 7 Oceans and Floods". In Nussbaum, Felicity A. (ed.). The Global Eighteenth Century. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 109.
  37. ^ Jones, William B. (2011-08-15). Classics Illustrated: A cultural history (2nd ed.). McFarland & Company. p. 203.
  38. ^ "Reginald Ben Davis". lambiek.net. artists' webpage. Archived from the original on 2020-01-16. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  39. ^ Findlater, pp. 60, 76; Grimaldi (box edition), pp. 184–185, 193; and McConnell Stott, p. 101
  40. ^ Robinson Crusoe (video). Classic Adventure Stories. Archived from the original on 2021-10-30 – via YouTube.[full citation needed]
  41. ^ Sellars, Simon (2012). "Zones of Transition": Micronationalism in the work of J.G. Ballard. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 230–248.
  42. ^ Bicudo de Castro, Vicente; Muskat, Matthias (2020-04-04). "Inverted Crusoeism: Deliberately marooning yourself on an island". Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures. 14 (1). doi:10.21463/shima.14.1.16. ISSN 1834-6057.
  43. ^ "Crash Test Dummies "I'm a Dog" lyrics". genius.com. Archived from the original on 2020-03-21. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  44. ^ "event notice". ausstage.edu.au. Archived from the original on 2019-11-19. Retrieved 2019-11-13.

Additional references[edit]

  • Boz (Charles Dickens) (1853). Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. London: G. Routledge & Co.
  • Findlater, Richard (1955). Grimaldi King of Clowns. London: Magibbon & Kee. OCLC 558202542.
  • Malabou, Catherine. “To Quarantine from Quarantine: Rousseau, Robinson Crusoe, and ‘I.’” Critical Inquiry, vol. 47, no. S2, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1086/711426.[1]
  • McConnell Stott, Andrew (2009). The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84767-761-7.
  • Ross, Angus, ed. (1965), Robinson Crusoe. Penguin.
  • Secord, Arthur Wellesley (1963). Studies in the Narrative Method of Defoe. New York: Russell & Russell. (First published in 1924.)
  • Shinagel, Michael, ed. (1994). Robinson Crusoe. Norton Critical Edition. ISBN 0-393-96452-3. Includes textual annotations, contemporary and modern criticisms, bibliography.
  • Severin, Tim (2002). In search of Robinson Crusoe, New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07698-X
  • Hymer, Stephen (September 1971). "Robinson Crusoe and the secret of primitive accumulation". Monthly Review. 23 (4): 11. doi:10.14452/MR-023-04-1971-08_2.
  • Shinagel, Michael, ed. (1994), Robinson Crusoe. Norton Critical Edition (ISBN 0-393-96452-3). By Kogul, Mariapan.

Literary criticism[edit]

  • Backscheider, Paula Daniel Defoe: His Life (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989). ISBN 0801845122.
  • Ewers, Chris Mobility in the English Novel from Defoe to Austen. (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2018). ISBN 978-1787442726. Includes a chapter on Robinson Crusoe.
  • Richetti, John (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Daniel Defoe. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) ISBN 978-0521675055. Casebook of critical essays.
  • Rogers, Pat Robinson Crusoe (London: Allen and Unwin, 1979). ISBN 0048000027.
  • Watt, Ian The Rise of the Novel (London: Pimlico, 2000). ISBN 978-0712664271.

External links[edit]