Daniel Defoe



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He had an eventful life, he was a dissenter, he belonged to an extreme set of the protestant church, and he was against the Church of England. He couldn’t go neither to oxford or Cambridge. His father want him to become a priest, he decided to be a merchant, but he had two bankrupts, and he had to solve his problems with illegal means, he was in need of money so he began writing. He become a secret agent of the queen; he was also a journalist his journal was called “the review”.
His masterpiece was “Robinson Crusoe”; another was “Moll Flanders”: this is a story of a prostitute who at the end redeemed herself.
“Colonel Jack”: is a story about a pickpocket who repents and redeem him and lives a respectable life.
“Roxana” she is a high woman society who exploits her beauty to obtain what she want, the subtitle is “The fortunate mistress”
He wrote true story all contain a moral teaching, they are preceded by a preface made by the author, the author in this preface stressed the authenticity of the story that is going to tell, he wanted to be realistic, he gives some detail to stress the authenticity of the story.
The story are presented in the form of a diary or of an autobiography, related in the first person singular in order to increase realism, the event are told in a chronological order and they develop around the protagonist. There is only one main character, a hero or a heroine, resolute in spirit, compelled the struggle against a lot of misfortunes and to rely on itself/herself.
Man must find in himself his salvation: God is the prime cause of every thing, but the individual can mould his own destiny, man can be saved through action, importance was given self-made man, who can advance economically through is own work. The characters are actually alone not only physically but also socially as in the case of the woman in a male oriented society.
There are very few tears and despairs even in the most tragic situation. Every day the character struggles not for their ideals but for their daily bread. Common sense prevails, together with the practical pursuit of money. All the novels contain prayers and expression of gratitude to God and they all end with the main character repainting the mischiefs. The characters are presented from the inside and through their action. The author point of view coincides with the main characters.
Is simple and clear. There is an objective approach to the events.
Defoe is the father of the Augustan novel. He is the representative of a new social class: the middle class
Book: “Robinson Crusoe”
The book is thought to be based on a real event – the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a sea-man who in 1704 was put ashore (he is shipwrecked) on the desert island Ivan Fernandez in the Pacific Ocean. From which he was rescued in 1709. He drew inspiration from travel book so fashionable at the time. R.Crusoe is a travel novel, which through not divided into chapters is made up of three different parts:
1. The first relates how, inspire by his father’s warnings, at the age of 19, R. left his family and went away to make a fortune. He landed in Brazil where he becomes a successful planter. But one day, during an expedition to Africa to buy some slaves, he was put ashore on a remote island.
2. The second session deals with Robinson’s life on the island, where he spent 28 years during which he keeps a diary where he recorded what happened to him almost day by day.
3. The third session describes Robinson’s return to Europe where he learns that his Brazil plantation had made him rich. He was saved by an English ship.
“The foot prints” (riassunto)
The text deals with the finding of a men’s footprint on the sand. R is very frightened. He analyzed the foot because he want to know who the footprint belongs to. Than he comes back to his home to take shelter. He calls his house “fortification”. He begins to think of the footprint. At the first he believes that the footprint belongs to devil but then after a lot of reasoning he changes his ideas: the devil is not so simple to leave one of his footprints on the sand; some savages have come there and than they have gone away.
The figure of Robinson Crusoe
He is able to recreate the world left behind him. He saves a savage from the cannibals; he made him a servant with the name of Friday. R. Crusoe belongs to the middle class which his father prises as the best state in the world. He is a restless man he searches for his own identity. The story begins with an acting of transgression of disobedience. This place the character in a position to the rest of the world. The island is the idea-place for him to prove his qualities, to demonstrate that he deserved to be saved by God’s providence. On the island he organized a primitive empire, thus does becoming to prototype of the English coloniser. He exploits and dominates _________ the society that he created on the island is similar to the one he had left with its ideas of mobility and individualism. Man can overcame doubt on modify reality through his work. He always starts by observing the situation, than he makes a list of all possible solution. He considers the pros and cons and he chooses the best alternative