How Robinson Crusoe Justifies his Authority over Friday


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Essay #: 067325
Total text length is 10,160 characters (approximately 7.0 pages).

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The beginning:
How does Robinson Crusoe justify his authority over Friday?
How does the novel call his domination into question?
The questions of how does Robinson Crusoe justify his authority over Friday, and how does the novel call his domination into question, are central to the critical understanding of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. This essay will argue the thesis that Crusoe does not go to any great lengths to justify his authority over Friday but, instead, largely takes his authority over Friday as a divinely-ordained given. As will be seen, Crusoe’s unthinking belief in his “divine” right of authority over Friday must be read in the larger context of the novel where Crusoe’s arrogant pretensions are ridiculed within Defoe’s broader critique of...
The end:
.....eoccupation with the pretensions of power and divinely-ordained domination. From this perspective, we can see that while Crusoe explains his authority over Friday as being the will of God supporting Crusoe’s authority over the land and other human beings, the novel as a whole can be seen to question this domination. Given the absurdities of Crusoe’s pretensions to political domination, far beyond those of any European explorer of Defoe’s time, it may be argued that Defoe is critiquing not only Crusoe’s domination of Friday but also, perhaps, the ideology of divinely-ordained monarchical power which existed in Europe in Defoe’s own time.
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Edited by Thomas
Oxford: Oxford World Classics, 2007.