Robinson Crusoe

Master of Your Domain

Daniel Defoe shipwrecks Robinson Crusoe on a deserted island, leaving him stranded for twenty-eight years. Rather than succumb to his primal urges and animal tendencies while alone, Crusoe maintains his humanity by establishing dominance over his island surroundings. Crusoe's ability to adapt juxtaposes the unvarying nature of the island's animals and cannibals. However, Crusoe's isolation on the desert island is not Defoe's first example of human mastery. Early in the story, after being captured by the "Turkish Rover of Sallee," Crusoe plans and executes a daring escape from slavery (17). His flight represents Defoe's introduction of adaptability, and Crusoe's dominance over Xury illustrates mastery.

When Crusoe analyzes his survival of the shipwreck, he is distraught by his isolation, but also thankful for his survival. Similarly, Crusoe has the good fortune of being chosen as a prize by the Captain of Sallee. While he does not feel lucky as he enters servitude, the alternative of being "carried up the Country to the Emperor's Court" to probable death is most definitely less desirable (17). Admittedly, Crusoe feels "perfectly overwhelmed," and as if "the Hand of...

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