Robinson Crusoe Questions and Answers
by Daniel Defoe

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Where does the theme of colonialism come into play in Robinson Crusoe?

The theme of colonialism is apparent throughout Robinson Crusoe. It is particularly evident when the narrator asserts his "undoubted right of dominion" over the island and describes its other inhabitants as his subjects.

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In Chapter 16 of Robinson Crusoe, the narrator describes his attack on some unarmed islanders he calls "savages" and "cannibals." Having rescued their prisoners, he describes his position as master of the island and its population in comically grandiose terms:

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection, which I frequently made, how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country was my own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion. Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected—I was absolutely lord and lawgiver—they all owed their lives to me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me. It was remarkable, too, I had but three subjects, and they were of three different religions—my man Friday was a Protestant, his father was a Pagan and a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist. However, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions. But this is by the way.

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1,103 words.)

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