Robinson Crusoe Questions and Answers
by Daniel Defoe

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What are the post-colonial themes in Robinson Crusoe?

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When reading Robinson Crusoe it's all too easy to overlook the uncomfortable fact that the lead character's actually a slave-trader. And it is in this capacity that Crusoe heads off to Africa in search of lucrative human cargo. But before then he ends up being sold into slavery himself. It's somewhat telling, however, that even this first-hand experience doesn't persuade Crusoe that slavery is a moral abomination. No sooner does he escape captivity than he's off on his travels once more, looking to buy some slaves for his Brazilian sugar plantation. It is during this voyage that Crusoe is shipwrecked and ends up stranded on a desert island.

One would've thought that Crusoe's own experiences might have brought home to him just how morally repugnant it is to enslave another human being. That they don't is testimony to the extraordinary power that colonialist ideology has on him. Crusoe doesn't believe that slavery is wrong per se; it's only wrong if the "wrong" people are enslaved, i.e....

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