Robinson Crusoe Topics for Further Study
by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Research the ecological impact of colonialism. Use your research to explain the problematic overpopulation of cats on the island in the novel. What kinds of problems do we have today with exotic specie invasions? Investigate such a problem in your area.

How is the character of Friday presented in the novel? How is he different from other representations of native people in Defoe's time? Read Aphra Behn's Oroonoko. Contrast the character of Prince in that novel with Defoe's Friday.

Robinson Crusoe was very popular as a children's book What do you think children were supposed to learn from Crusoe? What moral lessons, if any, can be drawn from his story?

Many economists use Robinson Crusoe when explaining basic economic theory. What principles of economics does Crusoe demonstrate?

Crusoe is an ex-slave trader, but is horrified by the Spanish treatment of native South Americans Research the role of England in the slave trade. Is Crusoe's treatment of the native population any better than that of the Spanish Conquistadors?

Based on the novel, what was the eighteenth-century family like? How does it differ from your family?