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Robinson Crusoe: Islands As Story World

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As a way of introduction, The Norton Anthology of English Literature posits that “the final act of translation apparent in 18th century writing about travel and trade is that of imagining and in some cases appropriating, the position of the other”.

Various authors have used the island motif as essential literary devices that shape narratives and perspectives, especially when associated with an imagery of self-rediscovery (Edward Said, xiii; Peter Hulme, 186; Jane Poyne, 12; Bridgette Le Juez and Olga Sprinter, 2). The imagery of islands in literature are symbolic of plot elements, concepts of philosophical theories, scenic metaphors and so on. Fictional characters can find themselves on islands either voluntarily or otherwise. Writers employ this leitmotif in order to expose a character’s retreat from civilization or in order to regain their social and cultural identity far away from the familiar.

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This poster will introduce and briefly review the island landscape imagery, both as a field of research and as a pedagogical tool. It will mainly present the materials and activities for lessons on the symbolism of the island landscape used by writers in the 18th century, as well as images and other work produced by more recent scholarship on island narratives. Although the presentation focuses on a fictional setting, there is an actual island, Robinson Crusoe Island, which is the largest of the Juan Fernandez Island, which boasts of a link to Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe: Life on the real Island, BBC News October 1, 2012). The poster will include additional resources for further exploration and inspiration around Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and J M Coetzee’s Foe (1986). Images will include pictures as evident as islands and humorous memes about Robinson Crusoe, blogging, iPhone and Black Friday sales.

My argument with the choice of this presentation is to promote the ideas and materials herewith, which can be adapted for use by many different teaching settings and students, with a focus on the “…development of a media-conscious narratology…” (Ryan and Thon 4). Visitors to the poster should leave informed and inspired to find ways to use symbolism in literature in their own teaching. The objective of the presentation is to share information and resources relating to the use of the landscape as a symbol of intellectual endeavor.

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Robinson Crusoe: Islands As Story World. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“Robinson Crusoe: Islands As Story World.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
Robinson Crusoe: Islands As Story World. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2023].
Robinson Crusoe: Islands As Story World [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2023 Dec 4]. Available from:
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