Is Robinson Crusoe a Parable?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who becomes shipwrecked off of the coast of Trinidad for twenty-eight years. During this time, Crusoe is able to survive with much hard work and perseverance, making the best out of the few resources available to him. Crusoe's skillfulness, unquestionable faith in God, and the almost flawless outcome of the novel make it seem like a parable. The similarity between Defoe's novel and a parable are striking to such an extent that the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau applauded Crusoe's do-it-yourself independence, and in his book on education, Emile, he recommends that children be taught to imitate Crusoe's hands-on approach to life. If Robinson Crusoe is in fact a parable, then one must ask what the moral of the story is, what is the lesson to be learned? It seems that the story has many different morals, among them: to be self-sufficient, independent and always remain faithful in God.