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Please add ideas to a few themes in Robinson Crusoe.

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted March 13, 2012 at 9:23 PM via web

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Please add ideas to a few themes in Robinson Crusoe.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM (Answer #1)

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I am not too sure that I fully understand all of your points as you have put them above, but one that I do think we can definitely comment on is the way in which Crusoe's character develops and improves throughout the course of the novel. At the end, he is depicted as being a much "better" man that he is shown to be at the beginning, and this is primarily because he is able to accept the kind of life that God has for him rather than feeling he needs to seek adventure and experiences across the waves. The prime problem that Crusoe has, according to this book, is that he is unable to be "satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature hath placed him." This is what leads him at the beginning of the story to continuously seek new adventure, and this is what leads to his experience of being a castaway on an island.

However, this can also lead us to view the book allegorically. Crusoe, on his island, is forced in conflict with nature. He eventually is able to win this conflict through retaining his rational and practical outlook on life. Moreover, the book presents this struggle as being intrinsic to the human condition as we struggle against nature for our own benefit. The success of Crusoe in this conflict is something that he is enriched by, and when he metaphorically conquers nature, it is shown to result in his own development as a character. Having triumphed, he is now happy to accept his lot in life and does not feel the need to venture forth any more.

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