Contrast The Representation Of Friday In Foe And Robinson Crusoe English Literature Essay


...Start of the Contrast The Representation Of Friday In Foe And Robinson Crusoe English Literature Essay...

According to G Scott Bishop, it is important to read post-colonial literature in English, and see the reactions to the discussion of colonialism held by the English, as they reflect the way our historical actions created the world. Taking the plot of the ‘father’ of the novel (Judith Hawley, spoken, 7th October 2010), and a novel focussed around colonialism, Robinson Crusoe, the post-colonial Foe deconstructs it to expose the lies and injustices that are seen in Robinson Crusoe, but never challenged. The change in cultural norms, from Britain in 1719 to South Africa in 1986 has been vast, and the challenging differences between the two novels purported to tell the same story is shocking. The central point of these differences is not, as some would suggest, Susan Barton, the interloper character, and female narrator, but more Friday, a character who is the same across the books, and yet incredibly different. Defoe used Friday to explore themes of religion, slavery and subjugation, all of which were supposed to a natural state of being at that time in history, and Coetzee uses him to explore more strongly themes of slavery, black identity, and the voice of the oppressed. In neither book is Friday left simply to be a character, he is instead always used as a device through which the reader can explore other topics.


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Crusoe, Cruso and Barton were all seen to treat Friday very differently, but all see him as a possession in their own way. Crusoe did this most blatantly, in claiming, naming Friday and instructing him to call him ‘Master’, with Defoe’s Friday being portrayed as making signs of ‘subjection, servitude, and submission’ to Crusoe without even any bidding. This added to the moral message of Robinson Crusoe, because it showed the savage being tamed, and later taught religion. This contrasts strongly with the Cruso created by Coetzee, who was ‘sullen’ (J M Coetzee, Foe) in his service, who obeyed Cruso, but did not have the childish excitement or ‘comically expressed pidgin’ (Chris Boignes, Lost in a maze of doubtin’) portrayed in places by Defoe. Barton also claimed him, despite trying to treat him as an individual ‘if Friday is not mine to set free, whose is he’ (J M Coetzee, Foe), and on some level saw him clearly as her property, forgetting that maybe it was not her right to set him free either. (Chris Boignes, Lost in a maze of doubtin’). The representation of Friday in these two texts is vastly different, and one could hardly believe that the two were in fact the same character.


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http://find.galegroup.com/shax/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale(en,,):FQE%3D(tx,None,39)robinson+crusoe+as+narrative+theologian$&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=DateDescend&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&tabID=T013&prodId=SHAX&searchId=R1&currentPosition=1&userGroupName=rho_ttda&docId=A19983243&docType= . Donoghue, Frank. ‘Inevitable Politics: Rulership and Identity in Robinson Crusoe.’ Studies in the Novel 27.1 (1995): 1-0. http://lion.chadwyck.co.uk/searchFulltext.do?id=R01532799&divLevel=0&area=abell&forward=critref_ft . Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. ‘The language of African literature.’ Decolonising the Mind. London / Portsmouth N.H James Currey / Heinemann 1986 . Judith Hawley ‘Robinson Crusoe’ (University Lecture) 7th October 2010 .


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