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Robinson Crusoe as a Colonial Novel

Robinson Crusoe as a Colonial Novel


  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Friday
  • Xury and moley (other staves with Crusoe)
  • Crusoe sold everything along with xury to the captain of Spanish ship
  • Spaniard – Spanish Friday (Mimic man)

Colonial mission/ theme in Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe as an economic man

  • Myth
  • symbols
  • Importance of preprint those who tries to be superior have to face difficulties context of the novel

The novel is set in the context of European colonialism which began since Renaissance. The invention of Firearm, printing press and compass empowered the westerness with mind, money, media and muscle, using the help of which the westerners controlled the Non-western geographical location, in the controlling of Non-western geographical locations, English language and English culture was the weapon. Throwing the false notion of the superiority of English language and English culture, the westerners were successful to tame the native people of non-western geographical location. The native people when stated to learn the English language and English culture were divided in their mentality. In this situation, on the one hand the Non-western people were deviated from their own cultural root, while on the other hand they never reached to the position of westerners by following the western culture and western language. This situation of torn personality makes the Non-western people with the condition of facing helplessness. In this situation the divided personality of Non-western people prefer to be slave of the western culture rather to go back to their own culture. Using such personnel’s the westerners ruled the Non-western geographical location.

Importance of Money in “Robinson Crusoe”

  • A money minded personality forgets family, friends and relatives in search for money
  • Lack of morality due to the money minded rationalism
  • The person to earn the money from the hard labour forgets sensuality.
  • No matter almost all the difficulties, a person of money minded rationality always longs for money.

 Robinson Crusoe as a colonial novel

The novel “Robinson Crusoe” dramatizes the mission of European coloualism where like the mission of European colonialism capturing the non-western geographical location and keeping an evil eye towards the natural resource of the non-western geography, the protagonist is obsessed to leave his native country (English) and to contributes his nation economically grasping the economic property the colonized location.

As a youth of the colonizer’s country, Crusoe’s mentality since the time of his childhood, is guided by colonial intoxication. The youths of his time were concentrated in capturing the colonized property so that they can contribute well for their nationality. Despite the continuous resistance from the parental authority, Crusoe ultimately begins his mission of hardship and torture only to fulfill his colonial intoxication which is injected in his mind form the socio-political astrosphere of his country which had begun the mission of colonialism using mind, money media and muscle empowered by the invention of firearm printing press and compass.

The retting of Brazil plantation in the novel heralds the mission of colonialism. Crusoe’s selling of the faithful slave Xury, his deception towards the pirate master and his act of gaining some of the land for plantation in Brazil is the nascent (initial) colonial symbol. this event of Brazil heralds how in the name of business Crusoe is initiating the mission of colonialism. The historical facts about how the Europeans went to Africa, India and other colorized countries in the name of trade and ultimately colonized them, is similar to the mission of Crusoe’s colonialism, This also unpack the colonial there in the novel.

Likewise in the colonial mission of Europe, the culture and the language of would be colonized countries were infected and destroyed by the Europeans spreaching the false pretense of their assumed superiority of their English language, English culture and English religion. When the native people accept their English language, it became easy for the Europeans to colonize. The protagonist of the novel also uses the same technique where he baptizes the non-western people with the English name in the case of Friday, teaches them English language and English culture in the case of the peoples in the remote Island where he is forced to spend much of his life when those people in the Island along with Friday accept his religion, culture and language, it became easy for Crusoe to be the “almighty” power centre.

Colonizes do not love the colonized people but they have their evil eyes towards the property and natural resources of colonized location. Robinson Crusoe does not have any sympathy and empathy for the colonized peoples one may argue that his protection towards Friday and other people in the Island is the symptom of his love but this argument becomes meaningless when we come to know that Crusoe has protected Friday and other peoples for the sake of money and for the sake of his non protection from the outer forces. This is also evident when Crusoe uses those peoples to capture the ship for his way towards his home. It is also dramatics the colonial mission.

In addition to it the colonizers having the good knowledge of “Iran cuts the Iron” employ the mimicman of colonized country to enslave the colonized country are provide with the knowledge of colonial culture and colonial language, they (Colonized people) become fragmented in their personality on the one hand those people are deviated from their native culture while on the other hand those deviated people cannot be the “complete man” of those culture which they follow. In this condition those mimic man prefer to follow the colonizers culture rather to return to their native culture. Crusoe also teaches Friday making him the mimic man through the help of whom Crusoe rules the Island through his salve, Friday even in his absence, Furthermore after scaching his homeland Crusoe returns back to his colony sharing his happiness towards the colonized people just as the colonial agents do. In chapter i8 Crusoe is frightened with the footprint outride his locality which is the symbol of the anxiety of the colonizers because of the symbolic danger against their mission of colonialism.

Crusoe’s self imposed burden to civilize Friday his act of fortifications around his locality, his inhumanity in his quest his obsession towards the property of  the colonized location, his agricultural practice around his locality his veiled -3’D6f] leq 5f]kLPsf]_ protection of the colonized people to achieve his defer, his celebration of the Englishness and his departure after his success in the mission of colonialism maintaining the colonial authority are also same of the examples of European colonial mission being matched with Crusoe’s colomalism which makes us easy to claim that the novel is the colonial novel.

Economic man in Robinson Crusoe

Lust for money forgetting friends, family and relative, keeping at bay the humanity and morality for the sake of money and showing less intention or no-intention for the sensuality passion and emotionality in the pitch desire of money minded rationality are some of the Characteristics of the economic man which also dramatics the personality of our protagonist in the novel “Robinson Crusoe” that clarifies the economic motive in the novel.

Crusoe’s ignorance towards his parents coz of his desire to earn money, his hard labour in Brazil plantation for the money, his act of collecting gold and money for the sunk ship this Itanesy of the food in Island, his safe money and food in island shows his money minded rationality. His eyes of economics in dealing with Friday and other people. His act of remembering his family when he is quenched with the thirst of money.

  • His inhumanity and in morality for the sake of money.
  • Crusoe’s betrayal towards xury despite xury’s promise to be slaved in Crusoe’s life
  • His killing of the ship captam to capture the money from the ship

(i) In the novel Crusoe does not hintany sensuality for his passion.

(ii) No contact of Crusoe with the females.

(iii) Though he as in contact with the captain’s wife, this contact is further the monitory purpose

(iv) In the novel Crusoe sends of female members on the workers to his friend which is also done for the sake of money.

Study of nature in “Robinson Crusoe”

  • Human beings are greedy money minded tendency of Crusee
  • A person to earn the money from hard labour does not have the desire to waste it in the name of sensuality.
  • Crusoe’s not contact with females in the nae of the money
  • Human beings are naturally the power living beings
  • They try their best to place themselves in the centre
  • Those who are successful are capable of bearing the difficulties.

Myth in Robinson Crusoe

  • Myth of Prodigal son : In Bible, the prodigal son was punished din the sea. Evoking the same event Crusoe’s father brings the reference to threaten his son. This shows that the life of Crusoe will not be peaceful in the sea.
  • Several critics claim that the novelist did not have any experience of sea voyage. The story of the novel matches with the autobiography of a person named Alexander Selkirk so, the novelist is accused of stealing or pirating the myth of shat person.
  • The novel partly evokes the myth of hand and Adam. Adam was punished for the disobedience against the hod so is the same case in the novel where Crusoe is punished for his hedonism.

Symbols in the novel “Robinson Crusoe”

  • Footprint – It is the symbol of the presence of another colonial authority in another location. Crusoe’s fear viewing the footprint is symbolically the fear of a colonial empire who is afraid of the criss-crossing from anther colonal empire.
  • The bird and the animals – the symbols of how the colorizes not only colonize the human beings but also the helpless creatures. Crusoe’s enslaving the bird and the animal is his desire to colonize every living beings
  • The cross in the tree in the island it is the symbol of Christianity which shows that the colonizers desire to spread Christianity or colonial religious ever in the “nomans” land
  • The money safe and the fortification around the island physical symbols of the modern banking practice and the modern armed camps respectively.

Robinson Crusoe as the allegorical novel.

The novel is allegorical because the bourgeoisie myth is evoked by the novelist. The Parallelism between the mission of colonialism and the incidents of the novel presents a kind of similarity.

Bourgeoisie myth

  • The colonizers use all the end and means to colonize the now-western geographical location
  • Mimic man
  • Imperialism and colonialism


  • In the novel Crusoe uses all the ends and means to colonize Friday, the island and other peoples
  • Mimic man in the case of Friday
  • Crusoe’s colonialism


“Robinson Crusoe” show that the mission of colonialism not only destroys the freedom of colonized but also the freedom of colonizers.

  • It is the irony for the colonizers.
  • It seems that Crusoe in his mission destroys the freedom of Friday and others.
  • But in the deeper level the freedom of Crusoe (Colonizer) is also destroyed
  • Crusoe is forced to forged family, friends and relatives.
  • Crusoe is forced to sell xury
  • Crusoe is forced to be out of contact from the connection of females

The saying that those who want to be superior has to face difficulties is depicted in the novel

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