Robinson Crusoe - modern novel

Robinson Crusoe

It is the starting point of the modern novel. With it, the bourgevis comes into literature. It is a novel of adventures . Books about voyages and new discoveries where very popular in the 18th century.

A story that appeared in a magazine was about Alexander Selkirk a Scotch sailor who had quarreled with his capitain and insested on going ashore. He lived on a desert island for 4 years.

Crusoe is the type of an enterprising man who by a steady work succeeds in surpassing the hardships of life. Thus the novel is a praise to human labor and the triumph of man over nature. Work and fortitude help Robinson to endure hardship - they save him from dispair.

The charm of the novel lies in Robinson as a person. His characteristic trait is his optimism. His guiding principle while living on the island became "never say die". He had confidence in himself and believed that it was within his power to overcome all difficulties. Friday is the other character of the book. He is intelligent, brave, generous and skilful. He is described as an able, pleasant human being at a time when colored people were treated very badly. The novel praises the practicalness and energy; yet when concentrated in an individual man these qualities are exaggerated. According to Defoe it follows that man can live by him self comfortably and make all the things with no other human.   He pointed out the fact that human character is moulded by the circumstances in life that he is subjected to. Defoe is less preoccupied by the adventures of his hero, which became simple settings for bringing the character and the destiny of the hero into high relief.

When reading the minute description of Crusoe's life and work, one feels that the person who wrote the book must have lived through ale the adventures himself. It demonstrates that Defoe was a great master of realistic details.