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Story of Robinson Crusoe and Friday



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    By definition, a savage is an uncivilized person. Friday would not fit this

    description because he was civilized. He was a product of the civilization that

    surrounded him where he came from. His appearance, behaviors, and beliefs

    were that of all the others in what might be called his tribe. The simple fact

    that he had religious beliefs is evidence of him being somewhat civilized. A

    savage can also be thought of as anyone or anything not European. Clearly

    Friday was not European, yet his features were not consistent with what

    would normally be considered “savage”. He is described as having “a very

    good Countenance, not a fierce and surly Aspect…”, “he had all the

    Sweetness and Softness of an European in his Countenance too…”, “His

    Hair was long and black, not curl’d like Wool…”, “The Colour of his Skin

    was not quite black, but very tawny; and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseous

    tawny, as the Brasilians, and Virginians, and other Natives of America

    are…”, and “his Nose small, not flat like the Negroes, a very good mouth,

    thin Lips, and his fine Teeth well set, and white as Ivory” (Defoe 205). When

    the two characters meet, Friday approaches Robinson Crusoe in a very

    sedate manner, Friday is terrified yet he does not lash out at Robinson

    Crusoe. He does not seem wild, ferocious or barbaric in any way. He uses

    sign language at first to communicate, which indicates knowledge of some

    sort of primitive language. He is quick to learn Robinson Crusoe’s language

    and is eager to learn more while Robinson Crusoe stays clear of learning

    Friday’s language. It is apparent that Friday has religious or spiritual beliefs

    right from the beginning. When Robinson Crusoe saves Friday from the

    savages that brought him to the island to devour him, Friday is extremely

    grateful and he offers himself as an eternal servant to Robinson Crusoe. “At

    last he lays his Head flat upon the Ground, close to my Foot, and sets my

    other Foot upon hi shead, as he had done before; after this made all the Signs

    to me of Subjection, Servitude, and Submission imaginable, to let me know,

    how he would serve me as long as he liv’d…” (Defoe 206). After it became

    evident that Friday was not a threat of any sort, Robinson Crusoe was

    grateful for his presence. Friday would become a valuable asset for the daily

    activities of Robinson Crusoe’s habitation. All that Robinson Crusoe had

    filled his days with before the arrival of Friday had become easier by the

    hands of two men rather than one. Friday’s ability to work as diligently as he

    did is an indication of him being civilized. Along with teaching Friday to speak

    his language, Robinson Crusoe also made attempts to retrain his eating habits.

    Friday was a cannibal like those who had brought him to the island in the first

    place. He enjoyed consuming flesh and Robinson Crusoe made it clear to

    Friday that this was not acceptable behavior. With reference to the savages

    that Robinson Crusoe had saved Friday from, “…making signs to me that we

    should dig them up again, and eat them…” (Defoe 206). “I found Friday had

    still a hankering Stomach after some of the Flesh, and was still a Cannibal in

    his nature… I had by some Means let him know, that I would kill him if he

    offer’d it” (Defoe 208). In time Robinson Crusoe teaches Friday to eat the

    meat of animals rather than hmans. When asked about his religious beliefs,

    Friday at first does not understand but eventually he tells of an “old

    Benamuckee, that liv’d beyond all” (Defoe 216). After many questions,

    Robinson Crusoe took it upon himself to teach religion to his newfound

    friend. “I began to instruct him on the Knowledge of the true God” (Defoe

    216). Friday was eager to learn. He asked questions that were not always

    easy to answer but at the same time he absorbed every word that came out

    of Robinson Crusoe’s mouth. Friday was a faithful and loyal companion.

    Defoe allowed Robinson Crusoe to remain abandoned on this island for

    many years before Friday appeared. There was a gradual build-up to his

    arrival and their meeting. Friday’s deliverance from certain death was the

    beginning of Robinson Crusoe’s preparation for going back home. He was

    alone on this island without contact with the outside or civilized world for so

    long that there needed to e some sort of reorientation to civilization. The

    appearance of Friday was the first stepping stone towards getting

    reacquainted with other mankind. Robinson Crusoe needed to regain the

    ability to trust in those who came to the island in order for him to find his way

    Berlau, John. Spending Limits A Good Idea Whose Time May Not Come. Insight on the
    News.; March 10, 1997. v13 n9 p16(2)
    Doherty, Carol J. Campaign Finance Crusaders Regroup After Latest Defeat.

    Congressional Quarterly.;October 23,1999. v57 n28 p2507(9)
    Mitchell, Allison. McCain-Feingold Bill Is “Dead For the Year,” Senator Lott Says. New
    York Times.; October 19,1999. pA1

    Story of Robinson Crusoe and Friday. (2018, Aug 08). Retrieved from

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