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A GREAT BOOK GIVING A THOROUGH INSIGHT ON REALITY
on November 6, 2003
This critique is on Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. The story is about a young man, Robinson Crusoe, and his journey from a rich life in England to being a mariner and eventually being stranded on a remote island for twenty-eight years. The book is based on the true story of a mariner named Andrew Selkirk, who was also stranded on a remote island for five years. This book is a great example of the realism movement. Defoe talks about real life and its hardships, instead of writing fiction, in which everything is made up and is manipulated at the author's discretion. Defoe is also telling us to believe in ourselves, to have strong willpower, and listen to our parents. I think the novel gives a great insight on reality, and how hard real life is. It makes us think about the hardships of life and gives us the notion that we should explore our talents and have faith; that way we will succeed.
Robinson Crusoe is the son of and English merchant who chooses the life of a mariner rather than become a lawyer as his parents wanted. After going against his parent's whishes and becoming a mariner, Crusoe suffers a number of misfortunes at the hands of Barbary pirates and the elements. Finally Crusoe is shipwrecked off South America. He salvages needful things from the ship, and manages to survive in the island. During his twenty-eight year two months and nineteen days stay, Crusoe finds out the many qualities he possesses. With the help of his innovativeness Crusoe adapts into his alien environment. After several lone years he sees a strange footprint in the sand. The footprint turns out to be that of cannibals and their prisoners. One of the prisoners manages to escape. Crusoe meets the frightened man names Man Friday. Finally an English ship bound to England rescues them.
"Robinson Crusoe" is an expressive piece of writing. It is written using an English dialect. The narration of the novel is simple and is in the first and third person since Crusoe is telling only what he experienced. The tone is serious. There are no places in the novel where Crusoe is joking or laughing. The theme of the novel is most probably that we should believe in our capabilities and ourselves. We should never underestimate the powers that we possess. This is best portrayed when Crusoe learns how good he is at carpentry, pottery, construction, and baking. Crusoe never knew he had those capabilities. It was only after he tried and kept on trying that he succeeded in cultivating himself. He wanted to survive, and had the willpower to do so. Defoe also tries to tell us that we should listen to what our parents say. If Crusoe had listened to his parents, and become a lawyer, then he would not have to go through the harsh ordeal. When Crusoe is first shipwrecked, he is mad at himself for not listening to his parents.
I totally agree with Defoe and the things he addresses in the book. We should believe in ourselves, because if not, then we cannot survive. People who do not believe in themselves, who think they are low and cannot do anything, never make it. They are the ones who fail in life because if you do not believe in yourself then who will? It is not easy to live in today's world. One has to fight for his or herself. No self-confidence means no success but all out failure. If Crusoe did not believe in himself, then he would have died within days of being stranded on the island. We should have the willpower. If a person just does something without taking any interest, then are they going to do that thing right? Are they going to get anything out of it? The answer is no. But Crusoe had the willpower to survive. He used that strong willpower to learn how make his own furniture, bake bread, hunt, build a house, make clay jars. One of the most important ideas discussed is listening to our parents. Throughout the novel, Crusoe repents and asks himself why he did not listen to his parents. He knows that if he had, then his situation would not be what it was. Nowadays, some people tend to disregard what their parents say, thinking that they know what is best. But we have to remember that our parents are more experienced and they know what they are talking about. I strongly believe in this point. I have at times not listened to my parents, and suffered the consequences. Defoe's novel is a great example of one's life can take a turn for the worst. We must keep that in mind. This novel has allowed me to explore my own capabilities and inner strength. After reading the novel, I think anyone will gain more self-awareness, and give heed to what Defoe is trying to say.
"Robinson Crusoe" is novel about the realities of life, and how we should counter them. Defoe vividly describes the positive and great impact of self-belief and strong willpower on our lives, and also the negative impact of not heeding to our parents advice. I totally agree with Defoe on his generalizations of life. This book makes me more self-aware of myself, and has allowed me to explore the talents and capabilities I possess as well as my inner strengths. Defoe has written a masterpiece which will have a great impact on generations to come.