Slavery as a submerged theme in Robinson Crusoe An Illustration of Crusoe’s pragmatism
3 April, Slavery as a submerged theme in Robinson Crusoe: An Illustration of Crusoe’s pragmatism. Although the institution of slavery is not the most fundamental element of the plot of Robinson Crusoe, yet it lays the basis for most of the actions that are performed by different characters in the novel at different times. The main purpose behind the movement of Crusoe to Africa is to buy slaves. Initially, Robinson Crusoe serves as a slave for some time himself, and in the later part of the story, starts to own many slaves himself. When he plays the role of an owner of slaves, this makes him superior to others. The sense of superiority has a great impact on the relations of Crusoe with other people like Friday and Xury. In addition to several other events in the story that revolve around slavery, the wealth Crusoe manages to make from the sugar plantations he owns by the time, the novel ends up would have been generated by the slave labor. An in-depth analysis of the major events in the novel Robinson Crusoe leads one to the conclusion that slavery in the novel is a submerged theme, yet it influences the main theme of the story. Robinson and his relationship with Friday: Friday is one of the prisoners that do not permanently live in the island where Crusoe lives. The prisoners are brought to the island in canoes by savages from a mainland that is not very far from the island. Once, Robinson gets a chance to see them. He becomes very outraged to see this injustice, and takes the decision to save the prisoners when he sees them the next time. A couple of years after that, the savages appear on the island again. Crusoe uses his gun to scare the savages away. One young savage is saved by Crusoe. He calls that savage as Friday. Having realized that he has been saved by Crusoe, Friday becomes extremely grateful to him and becomes Crusoe’s servant. Soon, Friday learns the English language and communicates with Crusoe in English. He also embraces Christianity. Both Friday and Crusoe live quite happily with each other for few years. Some years later, three prisoners are brought to the island by savages in another ship. Friday and Crusoe jointly manage to save two of the three prisoners. One of the two prisoners is Friday’s own father while the other is a Spaniard. The father and son become extremely happy to meet each other after so many years. Few months after that, they make an attempt to bring other men of Spaniard to the island. Crusoe approves of the idea and is happy to see that the island that had stayed as a lonely and forgotten place is now been populated. The author has presented a mixed kind of relationship between Friday and Robinson Crusoe. Sometimes, audience is conveyed the impression that Friday and Crusoe live together like a son and a father. Yet, there are times when Friday is shown as no more than a mere servant to Crusoe. Crusoe says, I let him know that his name was to be Friday, which was the day on which his life was saved, and I taught him that he was to call me master (Defoe 100). Works Cited: Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Bloomington: Public-School Publishing School, 1902. Print.