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Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe In this classic, Robinson Crusoe is marooned on a deserted island for 28 years. Only in the last 3 years does he have a companion on the island named Friday. Crusoe makes a paradise for himself on the island with 2 fortified homes, vineyards, rice and barley fields, and a pen of goats. He also somehow manages to not run out of rum.

I found the story to be interesting and the writing style to be highly readable. Defoe moves from scene to scene and action to action quickly which is nice because he ends his novel before it wears out it's welcome. However, having been written in 1719, the ideas the book contains are often deplorable by today's standards. Crusoe seems to be the most unlucky man alive when it comes to travel by sea. Every time he gets in a ship, he's attacked by pirates, enslaved, or shipwrecked. And even though Crusoe spends several years as a slave, he has no qualms about taking as slave a man who ends up on the island with him. Crusoe justifies the enslavement of Friday in that he had saved Friday's life and Friday wanted to be his slave as repayment. Is it really in human nature to want to be a slave? Is that how the people of the time justified the idea of slavery? That they were saving men from a worse fate in "savage" and "barbaric" countries? I also found it quite disgusting that when 2 other men ended up on the island with Crusoe that his immediate reaction was to instate himself as king of the island and them as his subjects. It's just amazing to me that having lived 25 years alone with only a Bible and animals as a companion that he felt the need to subjugate those who he came in contact with.

An interesting conversation between Crusoe and Friday was when Crusoe tried to explain the concept of Satan to Friday. Friday assumed that if God would offer forgiveness to even the worst humans that one day God might offer forgiveness and acceptance to Satan, accepting him back into heaven. It's the whole idea of the prodigal son taken to the extreme. This could make for interesting theological debate, couldn't it? Crusoe told Friday that his theological logic was mistaken and that Satan was beyond forgiveness.

Having been watching the television series "Crusoe" which is loosely based on this book, I'm finding it interesting that Defoe didn't add a wife or girlfriend back home for Crusoe to pine away for for his 28 years. In fact, any women in the story get bare mention and are faceless and without personality.

I suppose I've mainly pointed out the bad things about the book because I'm ridiculously better at negative criticism than at praise. It really is a bookS to put on your list of book to read eventually.