Colonialism and its aftermath.
Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
Universidad de Navarra
Well educated, Married at 24
Adventurer, Political activist (wrote
political treaties). Participated in the
1685 revolt against James II.
1701 – March in parliament under King
Engaged in commerce.
Wrote many books, pamphlets and
journalism about economy and trade.
Wrote Robinson Crusoe at the age of
60 in 1719, probably based on the story of
Alexander Selkirk. The novel was an
“In a word, as my life was a life of sorrow one way, so it
was a life of mercy another;”
“hunger will tame a lion!”
“How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the
life of man! and by what secret different springs are the
affections hurried about, as different circumstances
present! To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; today we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire
what to-morrow we fear, nay, even tremble at the
“I taught him to say Master, and then let him know,
that was to be my name;”
Is individuality the invention of the bourgeoisie?
The common man manages to yield nature
Struggle : both physical and spiritual Destiny and
The just War
Encounter of cultural and theological distinction
What about the social critics:
The castaway (naufrago), Crusoe is more the kind of
Guerrero, Cabeza de Vaca or Landa?
The 3 planes: axiologic, praxeologic and epistemic.
The historiography and the representation of the other
Different assimilation and imitation politics (mimic).
Religiosity more than religion.
An egalitarian religion
Questioning the neutrality of the West/occident
Objectivity of the contact between the two.
No such thing as neutral knowledge.
The oriental discourse is a form of
realism, reality-like principles to
develop the sense of an essence
One always relates to the Other
(otherness) in his proper terms
There are two ontological and epistemological entities, the
west and the east.
We need to displace the West to be in a position where not
all the power is in its hands.
Uses the mirror self identity notion.
Méconnaissance - A constant process of identification and
The Freudian Fetish.
There is a difference but also a resemblance.
Systematic stereotype & prejudice.
Articulation of the colonial discourse and language.
Difference between metonymy and metaphor.
Dichotomy and ambivalence.
In every situation there is a power
The footprint - turning point
The Governor of the island.
The spirit of Colonialism
Any physical quest is also a spiritual one
Le bon sauvage
Explain the role of emotions in the novel.
Why Crusoe decides to go back to the island?
We are told many mundane details about his thoughts
and doing yet Crusoe never expresses the need for a
Write about your experience encountering the Other.
Gatsby and the American Dream I
- Eco, Umberto, Interpretation and
overinterpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1992.