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Robinson Crusoe & British Culture

The first part of the book describes this process. Still, CrusoeĂs taming of this ˘foreign÷ land is similar to his eventual taming of Friday. As Marzec argues, ˘Crusoe tames the undifferentiated earth of the island by endowing the land with the positive and moral seed of Providence. In order to cope with an entirely Other form of land than that to which he is accustomed, he introduced an ideological apparatus to over-code the earth÷ (p. 131). Periodically, Crusoe is endangered by the visits of cannibalistic savages. He rescues and tames one of these savages to become the ideal servant. Man Friday is characterized as an attractive fellow with a good face that seems to reflect even the sweet and soft European appearance, especially compared to the other natives. He appears in contrast to the ˘Negroes.÷ In his dealings with Friday, there is a strong strain of superiority and condescension on behalf of Crusoe, one that is fueled by imperialism and ethnocentrism. Crusoe retains the innate sense of racial and genetic superiority typical of an Englishman of his era, place, and class. This superiority is evident, even though Crusoe informs us of his own insignificant station in European society, ˘mine was the middle State, or what might be called the upper Station of Low Life÷ (Defoe, p. 4).

Crusoe encounters his savage at a moment of crisis for Man Friday. Friday was intended as dinner for his fellow. His desire to live and to escape his fat


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Robinson Crusoe & British Culture. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:10, October 23, 2014, from
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