3. Crusoe's Survival: Rational Mind versus Natural Forces
In this sub-chapter, we intend to remind the prior circumstances which take Crusoe to the desert island and then analyze how he uses his reason ,his rational mind to master his environment, establishing thus the ideal place that enables him to live there for 28 years.
We will thereafter show how R.C exemplifies the late 17th and the beginning of the 18th century dominant ideology which praise man as a reasoning being ,able to reach progress through his reason.
Robinson Crusoe is the story of a young Englishman , who is cast away in a desert island where he stayed for 28years.
Before this misadventure, his inclination to go to sea was real so much so that ,he did not follow the advice of his father who wanted him to study law which would place him within the middle class life standing.
After disobeying his father, he goes to the sea but his first voyage is not a success because he is saved from a terrible storm that nearly caused his death. In the second attempt, R.C is unfortunately enslaved. After his release from the slavery, he goes to Brazil where ,he successfully establishes a plantation. Not satisfied with this situation, he again goes to the sea in order to deal with slavery business. But this time, he is unexpectedly victim of a shipwreck, during which all the members of the crew died. Being the only survivor, he is suddenly stranded on a desert island.
Defoe's choice of the desert island as a setting for his protagonist is not vain. The desert island represents a hostile and an inhospitable environment where the presence of savage animals can be noticed. This shows that the nature governs this place through its laws.