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Enlightenment Ideal Of Defoe’s Novel Robinson Crusoe

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Enlighteners were encyclopedically educated people. Many of them openly opposed the feudal state. Some even paid with imprisonment in the Bastille, they even emigrated to other areas of the country. But despite this, they did not stop their struggle with noble prejudices and the arbitrariness of the authorities. The Catholic Church was especially hated by the majority of enlightenment writers. the enlighteners of France and England exposed parasitism, some of them came to atheism. Enlightenment still could not see the representatives of the bourgeois classes.

The most radical of them taught that after the abolition of serfdom and the abolition of autocratic monarchical power, the eternal kingdom of Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood, Harmony in human life will come.

Enlighteners called for the judgment of Reason. Everything that could not prove the rationality of its existence was to perish. The idea of ​​the self-worth of the human person, the slogan – no differences other than virtues and talents – were of great importance at that time; they revolutionized the consciousness of society.

Features of the development of educational literature and art of England of the XVIII century. explained by the specifics of its historical development. The bourgeois revolution took place here as early as the 17th century. Therefore, the English Enlightenment is developing under the conditions of an already victorious bourgeois system. However, this does not mean that in England the enlighteners did not have to struggle with remnants of feudalism.

The periodization of the literature of the English Enlightenment can be proposed as follows: the first period (1688 – 1730) – enlightening aesthetic thought is still gaining strength. The second period (1730-1750) – The greatest flowering of Enlightenment fiction. The third period (1750 – 1780) – the heyday of sentimentalism. By the end of the third period, a crisis of educational ideology sets in, leading to a decline in educational literature and art.

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Despite the fact that, on the whole, the English Enlightenment is more moderate than the French (or even German) one, since it develops under the conditions of an already victorious bourgeois system, nevertheless throughout the eighteenth century. The critical wing of the English Enlightenment at the first stage should include the poet Pop and the novelist Defoe.

D. Defoe took an active part in the struggle of political parties, published a magazine and created novels and pamphlets; he lived a tumultuous life: he was in prison, stood at the pillory, gained the national honor and love. In 1719, when Defoe was 59 years old, the first part of Robinson Crusoe appeared, making his name immortal. The second part of the novel was published in 1720, the third – in 1721, Defoe gave the novel as a genuine memoir of Robinson himself

In Robinson, enlightened ideas about the “natural man” are embodied in his relationship with nature.

Robinson’s diary summarizes the “balance” of the positive and negative sides of his position. Defoe also put into the image of Robinson the most sincere moods and thoughts. Robinson appears in the central part of the novel as bold and active. Robinson has to spend a whole year to cut his spears and erect a fence around his home; with incredible effort he makes a table and chair, makes a wooden shovel. A terrible collapse half destroys his cave; his first crop dies from drought; he himself develops a debilitating fever. He risks his life to save people unknown to him (Friday, ship’s captain, Spaniards). The second and third parts of Robinson Crusoe, both in depth of content and in artistic level, are significantly inferior to the first. They are talking about the life and work of Robinson after he left the island – about his trade trips to India, China and Siberia. The third part of Robinson contains the didactic arguments of bourgeois Robinson about life. The language of the novel is remarkable for its simplicity and clarity. It gives the impression of the complete truthfulness of the author, striving step by step to reproduce his former life. Defoe’s psychological prowess also deserves attention; both central images are convincing and real.

In conclusion, I want to say that the educator Defoe in his work called for the judgment of the Mind. The protagonist of the work is the embodiment of ‘natural man.’ Robinson dreams about when the eternal kingdom of Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood, Harmony in the life of people will come. And everything that could not prove the rationality of its existence was supposed to perish.

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Enlightenment Ideal Of Defoe’s Novel Robinson Crusoe. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/enlightenment-ideal-of-defoes-novel-robinson-crusoe/
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Enlightenment Ideal Of Defoe’s Novel Robinson Crusoe. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/enlightenment-ideal-of-defoes-novel-robinson-crusoe/> [Accessed 2 Oct. 2022].
Enlightenment Ideal Of Defoe’s Novel Robinson Crusoe [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Oct 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/enlightenment-ideal-of-defoes-novel-robinson-crusoe/
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