Sept 20 2010
- Defoe was a Presbyterian ^dissenter_
- England: 2 civil wars
- He was 29 years old during the 2nd civil war; wrote a pamphlet in 1702-satirically represented
the intolerance of right-wing establishment to Presbyterians
- The rise of puritans: the literature of the 1740s-puritan conversion era; written by someone who
had a direct encounter with God that caused them to re-organize their life. Hugely popular
genre, and one of the main reasons literature was taught to children at the time
- Crusoe is about a man who disobeys his father-parallels to the garden of eden, ie. ^The fall_
- Æ this was later theorized by Jewish and Christian thinkers as the possibility of redemption:
^the fortune fall_. Ie. You must have fallen in order to be saved.
- Crusoe pays the price of his disobedience
- Æ he undergoes a conversion on the island, starts interpreting and reading the bible differently
- Excerpts: ^Looked upon my past life with suchY._ Y ^TobaccoY. Could not read the bible..._
- Salvation lies in not being rescued but by realizing his disobedience, then by coming to terms
with his circumstance.
- It is also an economic narrative: the creation of civilization. Story also involves surpluses, figuring
out how to protect it. The book is also all about accumulation, the gathering of resources.
- It has a religious narrative: this is over once he is converted
- The economic transformation in England going on at this time is largely puritan-this is the class
driving these changes.
- Excerpt: pg. 36: ^All the remedies of my thoughtY Get up into a tree._ Æ Crusoe spends the
night in a tree
- Pg. 40: ^Contented with this discoveryY. Not knowing if some wild beast would devour me._
- Æ he climbs out of a tree and builds himself a shelter. He goes from barricade to tent to shelter,
it[s a process of evolution
- Pg. 44 ^In search of a placeY rising hillY hollow place worn away like an entrance to a caveY_
- He thus moved from treesÆto ground Æto an established location which would become his
- Domesticates goats. Then to agriculture on pg. 58, then pg. 88 to pottery and tools. Then this
continues to develop (it is a recreation of human development-we come out of trees and
develop a protective environment on the ground-this is the history of human civilization); the
pursuit of bread gives rise to civilization. There is a search for protection, survival which is
- There is also a kind of economic engagement.
- Friday: first word taught to him is ^master_. Where was he going? To Africa to get slaves. Crusoe
goes from the most primitive state to colonialism!
- Defoe involves Locke and Hobbes. What constitutes society, human nature, progress
- Englishmen give rise to civilization no matter where they are