Crusoe: A Popular Myth

Crusoe: A Popular Myth

“It is not an author but a society that metamorphosis a story into a myth by retaining only what it’s unconscious needs dictate and forget everything else.” (Robinson Crusoe as a Myth, 290). The desires and appetites of an emerging middle class transform Daniel Defoe’s, “Robinson Crusoe” into a piece of classic literature despite its lack of consistency in character development and moral lessons disregarding its glaring contradictions at every turn of the page. A classic should develop the protagonist into a character capable of self-reflection as he learns life’s lessons and incorporates them into to the fabric of his soul not a series of inconsistent character development. There should be contemplation of deeper human issues to bring the reader to a moral realization, as the protagonist develops into greater human being. Instead, Defoe’s novel is filled with contradicting consequences to the story’s moral lessons. There are attempts at teaching moral lessons through Crusoe’s spiritual reflections but they are shallow and without merit. Bouts of repentance are brought on by times of trouble but as the story develops, the author fails to illustrate a change in the life of the protagonist who is continuously too short of gratitude or humility. Classic works should deal with the complexity of human growth and development through the protagonist. This is difficult to view these changes when Crusoe is blessed with a good family, excellent luck and honest friendships before being stranded on the island. The young Robinson Crusoe thinks he has little need of authority figures in his life, as he is lazy to recant and struggles to follow his father’s wishes of staying home and going into law. He is clearly moved by his father’s discourse and tears in remembering his dead son, Crusoe’s oldest brother. Crusoe resolves, “Not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my father’s desire. But alas! A few …


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