By Leon Guilhamet
His learn locations Defoe's significant fiction squarely within the rising Whig tradition of the early eighteenth century. It bargains a substitute for the view that Defoe is basically a author of felony or experience fiction and to the Marxist judgment that he extols individualism or derives his maximum thought from well known print tradition. This learn reads the novels as reflections of mainstream Whig social and political matters, an identical issues Defoe published in his verse and expository writings prior to and after his significant interval of fiction writing, 1719-24.
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Extra resources for Defoe and the Whig Novel: A Reading of the Major Fiction
Rmation of a stable set of principles. nfus10n is pa:t of Defoe's realism, but it is also satire directed aga111stsome typical Tory assumptions. For example, soo~ after being marooh~d, Robi~son does his best to salvage whatever is useful. ry. The fact is, Defoe is telling us that money has good uses 111society, and though Robinson is outside society, if he can manage to return to civilization, money will prove valuable. Robinson's knee-jerk moralizing gives way to a more substantial pragmatism.
150) Although Robinson protests that his face "was really not so Malettalike as one might expect from a Man not at all careful with it, and living within nine or ten Degrees of the Equinox" (150), it is apparent that he is concerned about his current state. " But his condition as a captive is also suggested by his admission that, with his Turkish whiskers, he looks like a Muslim and would have frightened people in England. That fear would surely have arisen from the prospect of being taken captive by Algerine pirates, since Robinson appears to be one.
Defoe' s concept of this progression involves both material and spiritual successes. In Robinson Crusoe, as in much of his later fiction, the arduous road from poverty to riches parallels the spiritual quest for deliverance from bondage. Robinson Crusoe tells us he was born iri 1632. The date of his disobedience and flight into exile is not entirely clear, but we can guess that he was a young man when he embarked on his first voyage. From the information that we receive after his return to England, he must 72 DEFOE AND THE WHIG NOVEL have been twenty when he first left and fifty~five upon his return.