Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels: the Soldier Within


Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels: the Soldier Within

The characters in Gullivers Travels and

Robinson Crusoe are portrayed as resembling trained soldiers, being capable
of clear thought during tense and troubled times. This quality possessed
within Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver is a result of the author's background
and knowledge. Daniel Defoe was knowledgeable and proficient in seamanship,
he understood the workings of a ship and the skills required for its operation.

Daniel Defoe, an intelligent man who is knowledgeable in self defense and
military tactics, which is reflected in the actions of Robinson Crusoe
who insists on always one step ahead of his opponent, wether it be an enemy,
nature or himself. Robinson Crusoe is the know all, does all type of person.

He becomes stranded on a desolate island and does whatever is necessary
to survive. After being on the island for several years Crusoe learns to
adapt to his surroundings (an important feature in becoming a good soldier)
and lives with what he has.

In the 17th century, the Catholic reform
was sweeping through many parts of Europe. The period from 1600 to about

1750 is known as the Baroque Era. Throughout this period the Catholic Church
was fighting back against the effects of the Renaissance. The people of
the Renaissance society started to question their beliefs in the church
and tried to rationally explain the world around them. Several crusades
were fought throughout this period and in the end England and France became

"Christianized." Robinson Crusoe was published during the Baroque Era and
it contained a great amount of Catholicism. Crusoe becomes a good Christian
during his lonely stay on the deserted island and converts his companion

Friday when he arrives on the island from cannibalism to Christianity.

Crusoe has been placed on this barren island as a punishment for his sins
(disobeying his father) and for leaving his middle station of life. Being
lonely, home stricken and afraid has allowed Robinson Crusoe to fill his
desire for company by allowing God into his life through his nightly readings
of the Bible.

Defoe is a strong believer in God. He believes
that God's providence shapes the lives of all men and that any unusual
circumstances or misfortunes that occur happen because that is the way

God wanted it. The psychological condition of Robinson Crusoe was not totally
imagined by Daniel Defoe. Defoe was not a stranger to the life of solitude.

In the early 18th century, Defoe was imprisoned for about six months. He
was thrown in jail because of a controversial pamphlet that he wrote called

The shortest Was With Dissenters. In this pamphlet Defoe humorously implied
that all people who were not members of the Church of England should be
killed. This imprisonment may have given Defoe several inklings of what
it is like to be totally cut off from civilization. Robinson Crusoe survives
on his island and adapts very well to his surroundings, but his companionship
with God is not enough. In desperation he trains a parrot to speak to him
just to hear another voice, even though the irony is that, the voice is
just a repetition of his own.

Years later he discovers a footprint on
the beach and totally flips his lid. He becomes terribly paranoid and very
careful. Crusoe covers any tracks that would give the owner of the foot
print an idea that he lives on the island. Crusoe becomes totally enraged
with the thought of another human on the island that he prepares his house
for war by surrounding it by an impenetrable fence, arming all his weapons
and is ready to kill anyone that comes near his sacred home, grain, and
animals. His condition is now evident: the strengths of his character that
has made him flourish in isolation has now distorted all his social instincts
and civilized manners. He only feels comfortable with himself, his animals,
and the Lord in which he can trust. Crusoe lives in fear of the footprint
for the next couple of years. Crusoe has become confused, at first he dreams
for someone to come and save him, then he feels that someone may destroy
him. He has been isolated form civilization for more than 15 years and
it has driven him to the point of uncertainty, paranoia and slight lunacy.

During the stay on the island, Robinson Crusoe became an architect, a carpenter,
a baker, a tailor, a farmer, an umbrella maker, a preacher and even a man.

But most important he learnt to respect fate.

Swift, a wise and educated man, cleverly
gains the readers respect during the progression of the novel.