An Essay On Robinson Crusoe And Foe

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An Essay On Robinson Crusoe And Foe Compairing Man Friday Essay, Research Paper inte‘To make the voice of Friday articulate would be to betray it sentimentally into… lligibility, for the comfort of the guilty self; but not to articulate its silencing would be an even worse treachery.’ Discuss the ways in which Defoe and Coetzee represent Friday. By Clare Davies. Friday’s character within both the texts is an important role in the plot and is used to explore themes within them. Within this essay I will be exploring the idea of Friday, what differences there are in Friday’s character and why these differences exist. There is a large difference between the roles of the two Friday’s in the novels. One of these is the difference in importance to the plot and the

narrator themselves. Coetzee’s Friday is the first character that Susan Barton meets when she is stranded on the island. He is quickly transformed from “a dull fellow” to an object of fascination when she discovers his mutilation. However Friday in Defoe’s novel is not as fascinating to the narrator and therefor does not become more interesting to the reader than Crusoe in the narration. This is not to say that the character of Friday is not important to the development of plot and central themes in Robinson Crusoe; as he is a vehicle which allows Defoe to present a view of a coloured man than would, at this point in history, be impossible to express, an idea that I expand upon later in my essay. Both Friday’s lack and acquisition of speech in the novels is very

important. In Robinson Crusoe Friday is described as a very fast learner and a good student (p213.) His character is used as a vehicle for important discussions and information on religious and moral issues; which adds a different type of narration to the novel. Within Robinson Crusoe Friday not only learns English but can discuss theological ideas and theories. In drastic contrast to this Friday, within Foe, is incapable of speech to such an extent that he has had his tongue removed and is therefor permanently silenced. I think that within the texts speech and communication represents the action of civilization and socialization. Through the teaching of speech, in Defoe’s novel, Friday is also taught the importance of religion and is made to think of his old way of living as

inferior to the Christian way. To such an extent that when asked if he would return to his cannibalism, if he were to return to his home land, he replies that he would not and would in fact try to teach his countrymen the Christian way (page 226.) The effects of civilization is apparent in Friday’s behavior when compared to the actions of the Friday within Coetzee’s novel; Susan Barton observes Friday performing a ritual of scattering white petals on the sea, an action not mentioned within Robinson Crusoe. Also in the time that Friday lives in Britain he is observed to be acting in a way that is in keeping with his past; for example the tune he plays on the flute that he continues to play when he reaches England. This highlights the effect that speech and communication can

have on an individuals beliefs and way of life; as Defoe’s Friday is “delivered from this type of behavior by his socialization by Crusoe. Why do these differences in the same character exist? I believe that the differences are a reflection on the time that they were written and, of course, of the beliefs of the authors writing. To understand the differences we must first look at the authors and their history. Daniel Defoe was a writer in the late sixteenth and the early seventeenth century he was a writer of papers that were both clever and controversial, these included a satirical attack on high church extremists. He wrote pamphlets and other pieces and was arrested several times for political and slanderous writing before publishing his novels. With this in mind it is hard