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Robison Crusoe: the indication of colonialism and postcolonalism factors

2021-03-26 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due今天给大家带来一篇1800字英语essay代写范文,摘要:通过阅读这些小说,我们将考虑:为什么在近代早期的英格兰,岛屿和被抛弃者的形象如此重要? 在英国/西方殖民主义,民族主义和后殖民主义的背景下,这些形象和叙述是如何被重新诠释的?

Through reading these fictions, we will consider:why were the image of islands and castaways such important in early modern England? How have these images and narratives been reinterpreted and reproduced against the backdrop of British/western colonialism,nationalism, and postcolonalism?


Robison Crusoe: the indication of colonialism and postcolonalism factors


Abstract

According to the definition of Oxford Dictionary, the term of colonialism is about a powerful country occupying or controling another countries or other countries(Oxford dictionary, 2020). Historically, the colonialism is generally connected with the violence, which means the violence normally happen between two country when a powerful country occupied another one. In contrast, the post-colonialism is based on the relationship between the suzerain and the colony,which emphases the exportation of culture. Robinson Crusoe is a masterpieces of Realistic Literature with full of humorous and meaningful sentences, especially when describing the personality of Robinson who is brave, creative and adventurous. It is a well-known fiction around the world and it reflects the spirit of the whole society in the rising period of capitalist development, which also strongly reflects the positive consciousness and desire of the bourgeoisie. Mcinelly(2003) states that Robinson Crusoe can produce close self-reflection of but not easy to achieve “civilized”. Besides, Wheeler(1995) develops a approach to test the fiction about race and various relationship between Crusoe and non-British men, and he concludes the fiction with the racial multiplicity. The story of Robinson Crusoe includes many descriptions of islands and castaways, which helps to interpreter and reproduce against the backdrop of British colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonalism. This essay will discuss how the Arthur describe the islands and castaways to reflect the reality of early modern England and how these description shows the British/western colonialism,nationalism, and postcolonalism.

The importance of the image of islands and castaways

Firstly, describing islands and castaways is important to the story, because it indicates the reality of England at that time and it meets the era in which the story takes place. Britain is an archipelago country and it is made up of different islands, so the culture background, geographical environment, and the history of UK are closely related to the islands.

Secondly, it is in sharp contrast between the island that Robinson arrived and the middle age of European by describing the images of islands. For example, when showing the scene where Robinson visited,it says, “instead of independent man, we find everyone dependent, serfs and lords vassals and suzerains, laymen and clergy”(Defoe, 2010,p.275).  Even though the author do not tell the readers how people live in where Robinson came form, we can understand how the author think of the early modern England, which is totally different form the place where Robison arrived.

In addition, visiting different islands through Crusoe’s eyes reflect the history of 18th century. It is the time when England explored other mainlands to expend its colonies. For example, it says when reaching the island, Robinson Crusoe’s experiences become a interesting them with political economists and he build “his island”. The author use the word “his island” because Robison Crusoe arrived the island and built “his world” through his counting ability and hard working, which reveals the history about how metropolitan states occupied other countries.

In sum, these images of islands and castaways are important in early modern England not only because they describe the geographical environment, but also indicate the expanding nature of capitalism in early modern England.


The reflection of the British colonialism.

The reason why Robison Crusoe tends to do ocean-going is that he wants to get more wealth and it is a common desire at that time in 17th to 18th century. Getting more wealth is the pivotal motivation of Crusoe and it is also his colonial motives. After reading the fiction, there are four obvious aspects indicating Crusoe’s colonialism.

At first, the experience of Robison Crusoe indicates the expending intention of early modern England. For example, its says “moderate though he be, yet some few wants he has to satisfy,and must therefore do a little useful work of various sorts, such as making tools and furniture,taming goats, fishing and hunting”(Defoe, 2010,p.276), which reveals how hard work that Robison Crusoe manages his island, but something hide in his activities: colonialism. Because of his colonial thinking, he intends to expend his island, grow his foods , and cultivate animals to satisfy himself. In addition, Robison Crusoe makes tools and furniture, which shows that he optimizes his production tools for seeking a great wealth and power.

Second, when Robinson Crusoe becomes a sole survive of a terrible shipwreck and reaches the land, his thoughts states that he is a colonialism. For example, when he reaching the land, the first thing that he think is “what would be my Lot”, even though he has nothing on him but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a box of tobacco. From this description, we can see that Robison Crusoe is a brave person with a firm will and admirable wisdom, just like western countries explore a new land in the 18th country.

Third, colonialism is not just happen in western countries or suzerain, but any kinds of community. For example, in order to be safe at night, Robison Crusoe climbing on a tree, and at that time, he predicates his fate in the land: destruction by violence or starvation. Like Defoe mentioned, when Crusoe live in the isolated island, the reason why he could live alone is not because he is godlike but because he is “bestial” . In Defoe’s opinion, in the state of nature, there are two choice that man could have: death or violence, and in order to live, man have to knock down others to protect themselves from dangerous situation, which is the nature of colonialism.

In addition, after reaching a land, the first thing for Crusoe is to survive on the land, and then he has to live better after gets enough foods, which is so called “settle down” or “occupation”. This is what Crusoe did after arriving the land. He builds his home, a cave, and then he tries to make “his home” more comfortable: opening another door of the cave. Although he is still full of fears inside, he is actually settling down in the land where is a totally strange place. Back to the history of colonialism, the situation of Crusoe met is as same as the Western countries’ when they explore their power and economy. So, Robison Crusoe is actually getting into the early colonialism.


The reflection of the nationalism.

At first, the image indicates his nationalism when he analysis the “labour” in the island, he advocates that labour in a family is like its in a society . For example, it says “the different kinds of labour, such as tillage, cattle tending, spinning, weaving and making clothes, which result in the various products, are in themselves, and such as they are, direct social functions, because functions of the family, which just as much as a society based on the production of commodities, possesses a spontaneously developed system of division of labour”(Defoe, 2010,p.276), the author shows that different people have different positions in a family or a society, and when managing a community, people should be identified first and then take them to a suitable position to make sure the function of each portion in a community is going well.

Arthur Lovejoy explained the “state of nature” in 1719, which also indicated the term of the nationalism. When the “state of nature” became a subject of considerable speculation, Lovejoy suggested three different principle meaning for it. One of these meanings is in a political sense, which indicates the relationship between men before the creation of government. Although Lovejoy gave these three principle meanings, different people hold different ideas. Whatever people understand it, it indicates the nationalism among people.

Next, Crusoe’s thoughts shows that he is a nationalism by reading the sentence of “Crusoe insists that he could ‘enjoy much more solitude in the middle of the greatest mankind in the word’ than in twenty-eight years of isolation”(Defoe, 2010,p.318). No matter how brave and independent that the Crusoe is, he is still a man who tend to find himself in a gathering society, and he desire to live in a society with full of the sense of safety and the sense of belongings. Therefore, Crusoe’s real life is “living in a world, following his calling”(Defoe, 2010,p.318) rather than the world where he has to fight for protecting himself from outside dangerous situations.


The reflection of the postcolonialism.

After reaching the island, Robison Crusoe highly praises European civilization and denies American civilization in an all-round way to rebuild his world on his own way. In this fiction, different civilization from outside Europe loss their voice and without any discourse rights in the island. Crusoe do not ask inhabitants name and just call them “Friday”, and teach them English on the island, which is a kind of civil colonies and directly breaks American civilization. Except for this, there are two narratives that reflect the idea of postcolonialiam.

Postcolonialism is often embodied in cultural colonization。In this reading materials, it says “the new sect of herb-earters ... and that there are many of them now thing of turning their children into woods to graze with the cattle, in hopes to raise a healthy and moral race, defined from the corruptions of this luxurious world”(Defoe, 2010,p.315), which is a result of cultural occupation.

In addition, nationalism usually tends to manage people in a solid way, like obeying a law. Defoe reveals his nationalism in his words, and advises that “attempting to construct a system of natural morality”(Defoe, 2010,p.315). Besides, Defoe praises civilization for elevating men’s reason above his passions, which uses civilization comparing to human nature, and believes that civilization is more pivotal than men’s nature.


Conclusion

The adventure of Robison Crusoe is a praise of colonialism, and the colonialists is seen as hero. In addition, the fiction is unabashedly in favor of colonialism, and wealth and occupation in this fiction are treated as the encouragement of expending. Although Robison Crusoe is regarded as a brave and wisdom adventurer, this essay presents another opinion about the fiction from three different angles, which helps to understand the fiction in a strict way.






Defoe, D.(2010),The adventure of Robinson Crusoe. 276.

Defoe, D.(2010),The adventure of Robinson Crusoe. 315.

Defoe, D.(2010),The adventure of Robinson Crusoe. 318.

Mcinelly, B. C. (2003), expanding empires, expanding selves: colonialism, the novel, and “Robison Crusoe”. Studies in the Novel. 35, pp.1-21.

Oxford dictionary (2020), Colonialism. Retrieved from

http://academicanswers.waldenu.edu/faq/73139

Wheeler, R. (1995), ‘My savage,’ ‘my man’: racial multiplicity in “Robison Crisoe”. ELH. 62, pp.821-861.



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