Comment on Robinson Crusoe’s urge to geographical mobility. What is the broader significance of this feature, in your view?
Robinson Crusoe is a novel written by Daniel Defoe. The book was first published in 1719 and it is a diary of the main character called Robinson Crusoe. The protagonist tells the story of his 28-years stay on a remote and uninhabited tropical island after surviving a shipwreck in the waters of the Caribbean on September 30 in 1659. The novel is considered to be the initiator of realistic fiction as a literary genre. It is an adventure story about traveling, surviving, humanity, friendship and the power of the human spirit.
Robinson Crusoe’s urge to geographical mobility is one of the main themes in the novel. However, this problem can be viewed from two aspects. The one is his own desire to travel and the other one is the broader significance of this geographical mobility, which was quite typical for that historical period.
Robinson Crusoe’s urge to geographical mobility is justified at the very beginning of the book. The novel starts with the main character giving his reasons for his desire to travel:
Being the third son of the family, and not trained for a trade, my head began to be filled very early with thoughts of travel. My father, who was retired merchant, had his mind set on the law for me but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea.
My father one day gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he could see was my plan.
I was sincerely affected with his discourse and I resolved not to think of going abroad. But alas! My resolve wore off in a few days and, to prevent any of my father’s further importunities, a few weeks later I decided to run far away from him (Dafoe, 11).
His words undoubtedly show his unceasing willingness to go abroad and expand his horizons. The protagonist is an adventurous man who would not obey his father’s will to become a lawyer. Upon his first voyage he states: “… I consulted...