Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

We choose one philosophical book per month to read. Then we discuss it as a group.

Nominate books to be philosophy book of the month.


UPCOMING BOOK

June 2017: The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus


How do you rate Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - okay, fair
0
No votes
3 stars - good, recommend it
5
56%
4 stars - amazing, excellent
4
44%
 
Total votes : 9

Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#1  Postby Scott » April 3rd, 2012, 10:39 pm

Please use this topic to discuss the April philosophy book of the month, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

What do you think of the book?
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4199 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic

Discussion of Robinson Crusoe



Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login
 

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#2  Postby Gulnara » April 7th, 2012, 8:25 pm

Good book, loved it in my childhood.
User avatar
Gulnara
 
Posts: 474 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 20th, 2011, 7:02 am

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#3  Postby Lessie » April 12th, 2012, 12:17 am

Scott wrote:Please use this topic to discuss the April philosophy book of the month, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

What do you think of the book?


What kind of philosophy you’d like to discuss in this book? I know that Daniel Defoe wrote three books about Robinson Crusoe. What book do you mean?

For example this book could be reviewed with the point of view, that in the past people don’t think about Nature conservation at all. There were general slogans in most of the countries – that Nature is not a temple, but a workshop , that the nature recourses are limitless. And all nature recourses were created by God only for the humanity, for satisfaction its needs. :(
User avatar
Lessie
New Trial Member
 
Posts: 3 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 6th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#4  Postby dparrott » April 19th, 2012, 12:55 pm

What I enjoyed about this book was the change that Robinson took for the better from being deserted on the island. It's been a little while since I've read it but I believe he spent around 28 years there and that seems like a really long time but without his time spent there he would of never become the person he was at the end of the book. From taking just a few days of solitude in the woods by myself I often return out with a different view on things. It helps me appreciate the small things more that most take forgranted. Like talking with a friend, the warmth of a room, and the bliss of a full stomach.

I believe it also showed the negative affect of society on an individual. Like how in the begining Robinson had Friday call him master. If Robinson was never part of a society that looked down on other races he would have not thought himself better then Friday at the begining of thier relationship together.
User avatar
dparrott
 
Posts: 496 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: May 6th, 2009, 11:24 pm
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#5  Postby Prismatic » April 22nd, 2012, 5:51 pm

Robinson Crusoe is a marvelous book, based on the real story of Alexander Selkirk. It is still readable today and it's almost three hundred years old. It was a best seller in its time and has always remained popular—a book that almost everyone knows the story of.

Wilkie Collins begins his novel The Moonstone with a quote from Robinson Crusoe. The servant Betteredge constantly turns to it for guidance in his life and says it has never failed him. The announcement of the engagement of a Miss Robinson to a Mr. Crusoe is supposedly the last thing that made Queen Victoria smile. (Yes, she could be amused on occasion.) That the idea remains an inspiration for modern authors is shown by the retelling of the story by the French author Michel Tournier in a wonderful novel called Friday.

One of the delights of the Defoe book is the part where Crusoe teaches Friday the Christian religion to save his soul and has difficulties with intelligent questions raised by the savage. (Remember that Friday belonged to a tribe of cannibals and was therefore the most savage of savages.) Crusoe comes to view his life on the island as meaningful because he has been made the instrument of converting a savage to "be such a Christian as I have known few equal to him in my life." Friday shows the depth of his conversion by saying that if he goes back to his own nation, he will tell them to stop cannibalism. Defoe's religious outlook expressed in the novel was far ahead of his time and reasonably generous in spirit.

What bothers us today is the justification of colonialism expressed by the novel—the white man's burden of civilizing the savages and bringing them to Christ does not go down quite as well with us. Still the story and the writing are very good.

-- Updated April 25th, 2012, 11:03 pm to add the following --

Here is the passage from Chapter I of The Moonstone I mentioned in the previous post:

"I am not superstitious; I have read a heap of books in my time; I am a scholar in my own way. Though turned seventy, I possess an active memory, and legs to correspond. You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years--generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco--and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad--ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice--ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much--ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain."
Everywhere I have sought peace and never found it except in a corner with a book. —Thomas à Kempis
User avatar
Prismatic
 
Posts: 514 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 22nd, 2012, 4:30 pm
Favorite Philosopher: John Stuart Mill

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#6  Postby Lessie » April 28th, 2012, 12:28 am

dparrott wrote:I believe it also showed the negative affect of society on an individual. Like how in the begining Robinson had Friday call him master. If Robinson was never part of a society that looked down on other races he would have not thought himself better then Friday at the begining of thier relationship together.


If Robinson was never part of a society – he would not have a possibility to speak with Friday or any other person, because in this case he wouldn’t know how to speak and communicate with people! Most probably he even wouldn’t consider himself a man, especially if he was grown by animals.

Thus I think we can’t consider the only factor (that Robinson was never part of a society) without others - those that are related with the first one.
User avatar
Lessie
New Trial Member
 
Posts: 3 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 6th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#7  Postby dparrott » April 28th, 2012, 1:47 pm

Lessie wrote:
dparrott wrote:I believe it also showed the negative affect of society on an individual. Like how in the begining Robinson had Friday call him master. If Robinson was never part of a society that looked down on other races he would have not thought himself better then Friday at the begining of thier relationship together.


If Robinson was never part of a society – he would not have a possibility to speak with Friday or any other person, because in this case he wouldn’t know how to speak and communicate with people! Most probably he even wouldn’t consider himself a man, especially if he was grown by animals.

Thus I think we can’t consider the only factor (that Robinson was never part of a society) without others - those that are related with the first one.


You missed the point which was "part of society that looked down on other races".
User avatar
dparrott
 
Posts: 496 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: May 6th, 2009, 11:24 pm
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#8  Postby Gulnara » May 1st, 2012, 4:01 pm

I knew this book as Soviet version, censored, so did not know about Crusoe teaching Friday any religion, but only that he taught him things, civilized him. Robinson can be viewed as society's tool of far reach ( in this case teaching religion). Person, brought up y society, does bring its ideals as far as an island, or it could be another planet, voluntarily, devotedly. Of course, only if he shares them.
User avatar
Gulnara
 
Posts: 474 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 20th, 2011, 7:02 am

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#9  Postby Lessie » May 3rd, 2012, 7:46 pm

dparrott wrote:You missed the point which was "part of society that looked down on other races".


Yes, I missed it. Sorry. :D
User avatar
Lessie
New Trial Member
 
Posts: 3 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 6th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#10  Postby WJW » May 19th, 2012, 10:24 am

I have always thought it somewhat ironic that the first book I ever read, Robinson Crusoe, should be the first novel written - at least in the English language. (It was the Charles Scribner's Sons edition with the wonderful illustrations by N.C. Wyeth.) I read it as a boy while confined to a hospital bed. The story captured my imagination. I could imagine the profound loneliness, and the sense of utter helplessness, of being shipwrecked on an deserted island in the expanse of the uncharted ocean. Defoe based his story on the actual experience of a real person; and, as in most novels, there is an element of truth in the tale (albeit taken with a grain of salt). But for me, the true significance of the story is the triumph of the will in the face of life’s limitations and the vicissitudes of fortune. I have since read the book many times; and each time I return to it, it is like when Crusoe picks up his salvaged copy of the Bible and begins, for the first time, to read it in earnest.
WJW
 
Posts: 12 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: September 23rd, 2011, 10:24 am

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#11  Postby Dune » December 5th, 2012, 9:02 am

I got this book when I saw it come up as a discussion here.

I absolutely LOVED it !!!

But aside from the very descriptive and personal style, that creates such intimacy between the reader and Crusoe, philosophically, I think it is a beautiful discourse on the mischievous nature and dilemmas of human will. Time and again Crusoe is faced with decisions, and nearly every time goes for the more dangerous option only to cuss himself for it when he finds himself in a new uncomfortable and dangerous predicament, which most of us can relate...why is it that we do this? ...but along with this also, it concerns the power of Faith, as it was only when he was at his lowest eb, that he seemed to find himself, perhaps searching for and certainly finding a reason to continue. Is this Faith good or bad? It certainly kept him alive by giving him a reason to live, but more than this, changed the way that he viewed and interacted with the world, which is recorded beautifully within the story....By the end, not only did I find it a exciting, rewarding and witty read, but also feeling that I had encountered an Existential masterpiece.
User avatar
Dune
 
Posts: 12 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 13th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Re: Discussion of Robinson Crusoe

Post Number:#12  Postby T-RAY » December 11th, 2012, 12:06 pm

The idea of being secluded from everyday society is a powerful one. To get to see our world from outside of the box is an important tool for life.
T-RAY
 
Posts: 14 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 11th, 2012, 5:12 am


Return to Philosophy Book of the Month Club

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST