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Daniel Defoe Essay

  • Submitted by: Nate80
  • on September 2, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,529 words

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Below is an essay on "Daniel Defoe" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe has proven to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking texts of early fictional writing, opening doors for discussion and critique while introducing the writing world to the genre of the island narrative. Defoe’s novel helps solidify the stereotypical roles of the late 17th century, as it portrays the life of a middle-aged white man during colonization, and how issues of race, gender, exploration, and independence are viewed through his eyes. It was one of the first novels to leave the main character to his own devices, and showed direct interaction between a white man and his black “slave,” Friday. Although Robinson Crusoe was written hundreds of years ago, a newer look into his island life and social views was created in 1986 when J.M. Coetzee wrote the novel Foe, a pastiche to Defoe’s famous work. While the two texts have many similarities, Coetzee used his piece to update the outlook of the story by throwing some changes into the mix. With the added presence of a female voice, a setting away from the island, and more modernized worldviews, Foe instantly made room for controversy, discussion, and comparisons between the two texts. Critics have deconstructed both books to uncover their similarities and differences, and Coetzee’s novel is viewed as the new-age Robinson Crusoe. The biggest difference between the two novels is the main characters: Robinson Crusoe is the defined character in Defoe’s book, while a woman, Susan Barton, narrates Foe.

    The character of Susan Barton is complex, exemplifying both strength and weakness, while helping fill the void of women left from the earlier text. The moment Barton is shipwrecked on the island with Crusoe, she tries to take charge of the situation, letting her opinions be heard and often complaining about the way Crusoe manages his time and life. While she fights to have situations work to her favor, she also expects Crusoe and Friday to go out of their way to assist her...

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"Daniel Defoe". Anti Essays. 12 Dec. 2018


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Daniel Defoe. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatchstavki7.com/free-essays/Daniel-Defoe-507858.html