Since long time, I wanted to read some classic novel and hence bought “Robinson Crusoe” but didn’t get time to read it. Some 8 months back, I have purchased Robinson Crusoe from crossword as it marked as Collins Classic but never got chance to read it. 3 months back, I picked-up this book and decided to complete it in any condition. And Finally, I have completed it.
When Crusoe first sets out into the world, he is shipwrecked and captured by pirates who make him their slave. He then escapes and manages to make his own fortune by establishing a sugar plantation. The table is then turned again, when he is shipwrecked a second time and has to service by his wits on an island. Defoe cleverly allows Crusoe to acquire the life experience to make his story of survival believable. He probably recognized that a European gentleman would not have faired very well had he been stranded on a maiden voyage.
After several years alone Crusoe discovers that other people visit the island from time to time. He is alarmed to discover that they practice cannibalism, but then realizes that their culture is so different from his own that he has no moral right to condemn their actions. This shows much wisdom on the part of Defoe because he is acknowledging that the ethics of what is right and wrong depends on social context. Nevertheless, Crusoe still decides to rescue a captive about to be ritually slaughtered and in doing so finds himself a devoted companion in the form of a native he calls Friday (From where “Man Friday” term was coined and became idiom). An unlikely as it may seem, Crusoe has managed to keep an exact calendar and knows which day of the week the rescue took place.
Some good lines from book are as below:
- It is never too late to be wise.
- We never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.
- Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.
- Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them.
- All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.
- Redemption from sin is greater then redemption from affliction.
- … the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on one hand, or by hard labor, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life…
- … it was only men of desperate fortunes on the one hand, or of aspiring superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of common road;…
Crusoe is used to depict the theory of production and choice in the absence of trade, money and prices as Robinson Crusoe economy. Crusoe must allocate effort between production and leisure and must choose between alternative production possibilities to meet his needs. The arrival of Friday is then used to illustrate the possibility of and gains from trade. Not only in economy, Robinson Crusoe considered as first realistic fiction which opened new door for Castaway novels and The term “Robinsonade” was coined to describe the genre of stories similar to Robinson Crusoe.
Indeed, Novel is amazing. If you love classic, old, historical fiction then this book is for you.
Source [Wiki]: Daniel Defoe was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularize the form in Britain, and, along with others such as Richardson, is among the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). He was also a pioneer of economic journalism.
Enjoy Reading !!!