Can we compare The Way of the World with Robinson Crusoe?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way in which The Way of the World  and Robinson Crusoe can be compared to one another is in their resolutions.  Both works speak to a unified condition of being in the world.  There is a unity and sense of totality featured in both works.  For example, Congreve's ending is one in which Mirabell is able to marry Millament. Lady Wishfort has overcome her vengeful ways and has become wiser in the process.  Wrong is overcome by the forces of good. In the same way, Crusoe's ending is one in which he has overcome nature and has been able to emerge victorious.  The ending is one in which he is able to ponder future expeditions and Crusoe stands as able to assert his own dominance as a human being in a world faced with challenges.  Both works speak to a unified condition of being.  Human beings are the pinnacle of strength and reasonability.  In this, a comparison can be made.  Congreve and Defoe are products of the time period where the capacity and ability of human beings to ensure success is evident.  Forces that are pitted against human beings are overcome and both works speak to this basic idea of being in the world.  It is a coherent and unified notion of consciousness that the endings of both works assert, reflecting a faith in the capacity of human beings to find their way out of darkness and into a light of consciousness where goodness is restored.  Both works can be compared to one another in how each asserts that moral and ethical balance of the world is evident with human beings and their capacity for greatness.


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