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Likewise, 'Man Friday', Crusoe's servant on the island, has become a name commonly used to describe an indispensable assistant who will turn his or her hand to anything. The idea of being marooned is one that grabs all of us, from the thought of the effects of isolation on the human mind to what records we'd take.
Although there were many true tales of castaways in Defoe's time (his inspiration for Crusoe was probably a Scottish sailor named Alexander Selkirk, who was rescued in 1709 after four years on the uninhabited island of Más a Tierra in the Juan Fernández Islands off the Chilean coast), the attraction of Defoe's work is that it departs from the dryly factual and explores instead the thoughts, feelings and occupations of the castaway, and hence the story achieves its everyman status.
The theme behind Crusoe's adventures is open to a wide range of interpretations. James Joyce saw him as a symbol of British colonialism; JP Hunter saw him as a pilgrim progressing through adversity and experience towards a closer relationship with God.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 03-07-18
More than a shipwreck story
I remember reading Robinson Crusoe when I was about 11 or 12, and just barely able to get through the writing style. at the time I thought it was just a very difficult to read adventure story. Now, over four decades later I find it a compelling story of a man's ever-changing relationship to God. David Warner's narration is wonderful.