There is hardly a person in the world who has not read Robinson Crusoe. Everyone likes adventure stories about pirates and sailors who visit uninhabited exotic places. Robinson Crusoe is one of such books. The novel was written by Daniel Defoe in 1719. At that time, people enjoyed reading about the undiscovered islands and continents whereas there were still many white spots on the map of Earth. One can say that this novel was revolutionary, because it introduced realism into fiction. It is hard to define the genre of this book forasmuch it possesses many features, which emphasize its originality. The novel is written in different forms. Foremost, it is an epistolary novel, because Daniel Defoe wrote the text in the form of a diary. Secondly, the novel is confessional as the protagonist shares his emotions and impressions about his life on the uninhabited island. Finally, Robinson Crusoe is a didactic novel inasmuch as it contains many instructions and recipes. The protagonist describes how to do the peculiar things and how to cope with the specific challenges. In these details, we are able to notice the elements of realism.
Although the family of Robinson Crusoe wanted their son to become a lawyer, he dreamt about being a sailor. His first voyage was quite tragic whereas his ship wrecked in a storm and he was captured by pirates. Then he spent two years as a slave. The second voyage was even worse, because Crusoe’s ship sank again and he found himself on an uninhabited island. Firstly, he was in despair, as he did not know how to survive during such circumstances. Later on, he managed to develop his own household and ‘conquered’ the island. He had crops, cattle and a friend called Friday, whom he released from the tribe of cannibals. Robinson spent thirty years on the island and at long last he came escaped from the island with Friday.
The main character and protagonist of the novel is Robinson Crusoe. He is a very controversial and uncommon person. On the one hand, he is a nomadic traveler who cannot stay at home for a single hour. On the other hand, he is an entrepreneurial businessperson and punctual administrator who cares about his household and property. In my opinion, he I a brave person whereas he did not give up but settled down on the island and organized his own ‘fortress’ there. He grew vegetables and fruit, domesticated goats and other animals. What is more, he was a real warrior who was not afraid of fighting against cannibals. Undoubtedly, such people are able to survive in any environment.
It is possible to find many problems in the text of Robinson Crusoe. Foremost, it is loneliness. The author describes the effect of the lack of communication on a human being. Secondly, it is a problem of civilization. Robinson is always recalling about the advantages of civilization that he has treated like regular things. The third problem is fate or fortune. Nearly every voyage of the protagonist finished with a shipwreck. No wonder, he was afraid of travelling to England by ship in the last part of the book. I can also distinguish the problem of greed. Crusoe wanted to become rich buying a plantation and he did not give up until the end of the novel.
I can find several conflicts in Robinson Crusoe. The characters face the conflict of Man vs Man. Robinson fights with the cannibals trying to survive and release a few innocent victims from their hands. The conflict of Man vs Nature is the weightiest since we observe the way Robinson Crusoe conquers and adjusts the natural environment for his own needs. In spite of being alone and helpless, a human being is able to civilize the environment. We see the dominance of Man over Nature on the ground. However, the marine power of Nature is stronger regarding the shipwrecks in which Robinson could die. Ultimately, there is a conflict of Man vs himself. This conflict is very deep and notable, because one has to overcome deadly difficulties and challenges if he wants to survive.
Robinson Crusoe is a grand and trimming novel that can say much about the unlimited power of human character and human potential. I would recommend everyone to read this splendid indigenous book.