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Identity in Robinson Crusoe and Great Expectations

9 Pages 2368 Words July 2018

at keeps track of how many days he had spent on the island. It was not just simply counting the passing of days. In this way, his egocentric nature is shown since the calendar is about him and centers around him. He also keeps a journal with him at all times to record his daily activities, even if they amount to something as insignificant as finding a few pieces of wood on the beach or waiting inside on rainy days. He appears to have this constant need to be aware of his surroundings and situations at all times. We can see Crusoe’s impulse towards self-awareness when he spent months teaching his parrot to say “Poor Robin Crusoe! Where have you been?” (Defoe 226). In a way, Crusoe has taught nature itself to voice his own self-awareness. Being self aware seems to be a coping mechanism for him, which is exemplified by the parrot. Taming the animals and the land, in general, seems to signify Crusoe’s need to feel like he can control his own fate. And so, mastering the self is an important aspect in Defoe’s novel.
Being in control or master of the island and nature has made him gain a sense of self-determination. He prevents himself from feeling like a passive victim. He has learned to work with his surroundings and make use of every opportunity. For example, he noticed that there were goats on the island. Though they were “so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult thing in the world to come at them,” Crusoe wasn’t discouraged (Defoe 96). Eventually, he ended up being able to catch and breed the goats and make himself a little farm of some sort. He finds prosperity despite his difficult situation. He develops and improves and learns to face his fears and problems since he couldn’t escape the island. Farming, manufacturing, and making a home on the island also gave him a sense of place and perhaps even a sense of belonging. By having a secure sense of place, he can also establish a sense of sel...

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