Jeff's Reviews > Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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May 02, 12


It's good to know that if anything bad happened, and I mean ANYTHING, I'd be set to live effectively with divine providence forever all because I read this epic tutorial on how to be uncommonly lucky and outrageously capable.

Forgive me, but I thought Crusoe was a bit of a dunce. I mean, we start out with a very common and on-the-point depiction of a young man wanting to make his way understanding the world, then are thrust into his castaway life while he makes bread, fashions canoes out of trees and fortifies a castle. If his name was Richard Dean Anderson, I might buy it. But Robinson Crusoe? Throughout the narrative, the protag himself doubts everything he does, is hyper-phobic, and seems to occasion his successes by accident.

I don't know if Defoe was creating satire here, but my gut says no (that was what Swift was for); so then, we have unrealistic happenstance that we are supposed to finally understand as God's willingness to spare His sinful creatures. aka. there are grapes on an island you get stranded on when you disobey your father's desire that you be a lawyer and instead travel (and this is why Catholic guilt always hit home with me). And can we just say that this novel maintains the most outrageous ignorance toward other cultures: Crusoe finds no fault in going to Africa to get slaves (in fact, he never considers God shipwrecked him because of this), and the "savages" on the island are fearful inhumane cannibals who it is righteous to kill because God would probably smite them anyway.

Blatant racism aside (if that's possible), if you liked the Boxcar Children growing up (Divine Providence knows I did), then you'll enjoy this grown-up version.
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Josh B. Ugh,you realize this was written over 300 years ago when the word "racism" didn't even exist, and slavery was widely accepted and practiced? Give the man some slack!


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