Daniel Defoe

In the 17th century the novel appear in England. Daniel Defoe was the most important writer. The novel became something related to real life. For the first time was introduced real names, real places, but nothing about feelings.
Daniel Defoe describes real cities, real names, but he doesn't describes feelings of his characters. He describes the fact as they are. In fact, when we speak about Defoe, we speak about realism.

Robinson Crusoe

Is a novel. It is published first in a newspaper and then in a book written by Daniel Defoe. He based the adventures of Robinson Crusoe on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who lived alone on an inhabitated island for five years. He prefers write in diary form, because it is easier to read then a long book.

The Story

Robinson Crusoe is the only survivor of a shipwreck. He manages to salvage some equipment and takes it onto a desert island. He builds a house so he is very practical. When a group of cannibals comes onto the island, he frightens them off and rescues one of their intended victims. He gives him the name Friday, and tries to civilise him. After twenty-eight years of total isolation from the rest of the world, an English ship rescues Robinson and takes him home.

* The man able to cope with difficulties of life only trusting in his own resources.
* The man is in the centre of the universe.
* simple and direct style.
* it is narrated in retrospective first-person narration.

Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders was born in a prison. She was the daughter of a thief sentenced to death. When her mother manages to have her sentence changed and is transported to Virginia, Moll is brought up in the house of a nobleman. She is very pretty and clever, and, at the age of fourteen she is sent into the service of a rich family. After being seduced by the eldest son of this family, she goes through five marriages, has children , becomes a prostitute and a thief in order to survive, is imprisoned and deported to Virginia, where she works very hard and becomes a rich plantation owner. She finally goes back to England where she leads a respectable life.

* she thinks back to her past.
* she repents of her evil and wicked action but she always tries to justify herself because she says that poverty and want of food and money prompted her to steal.
* she is very individualistic. She always thinks about her interest.
* she repents of her sins.
* her life can be measured on economic basis.

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DANIEL DEFOE (1660 - 1731)

Daniel Defoe was born in London in 1660. He studied practical subjects like geography, economics, chemistry and modern languages. He was be considered the father of the english novel. He wrote for the middle class: traders, merchants, artisans and professional men.
He was educated at the Dissenters doctrine (the doctrine that refused the English’s church), and his father wanted him to become a minister, but he started working as a merchant and also became interested in politics, he was a spy for the Whig (liberal) government. He wrote his famous pamphlet The shortest way with the Dissenters a satire against intolerance. His most remarkable achievement in journalism was the periodical The Review, in with he publics his essays.
Defoe started writing prose at the age of sixty he hit success with Robinson Crusoe, the story of a shipwrecked sailor who for 28 years was forced to live alone on a desert island. His last great work of fiction was Roxana. Daniel Defoe died in 1731.
He didn’t revise his works and used original narrative’s techniques.

Characters: He described them only superficially and has no psychological insight.
Realism: the events are usually presented in the form of a diary or of an autobiography, related in the first-singular person in order to increase verisimilitude.
The setting is represented by the island that is the ideal place for Robinson to prove his qualities in exploiting and dominating the nature.
Style: the language is simple, concrete to reinforce the impression of reality given by the first person narrator.
The plot is divided into three parts: the first party describe his life before the shipwreck. The second part is in the form of a journal, in which Crusoe writes about life on the island; it is in this part that he met a savage, whom he calls Friday and with who he want to establish a master-serve relationship, he teached him his language and culture. The third and final part their and of Crusoe’s return in England with Friday as his Servant.

Robinson Crusoe: this book is based on the adventures of a real seaman, Alexander Selkirk, who in 1704 shipwrecked on a desert island in the Pacific Ocean and on the reading of some of the travel books so fashionable in his time.

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