Transformation of Characters

Robinson Crusoe stands as an allegory or number of colonialism, not a display of it. Defoe had no direct know-how with plantations, South American seaboard peoples, oceanic voyages, the slave trade, or a colonial economy. What he "knew" came through the play of his fantasy on data from journey narratives, trade, geographies, etc. The actualism of his innovative purposes as a productive mode of fraud, assisting to enlist the book reader in a mental excursion that only resembles the know-how of colonialism.

Defoe, himself, expected accepted the expanse between the truth of Britain's colonial endeavors and his representation. Prose fiction supplied him an intermediate of depicting truth that, as Novak contends, "could be turned to helpful ends." Novak, who finds the leverage of Dutch realist decorating on Defoe's fiction, proposes that Defoe's "interest [in painting] was not so much in getting at 'the thing itself,' certain thing any author and creative individual has to understand to be unrealistic, but in the procedures of deceiving the eye and the brain into acknowledging the occurrence of the representation as certain thing that might have existed" . Novak concludes that Defoe finally wise that "he was employed in an intermediate that was even more powerful--more vivid--than painting". (Colley, 1890)

In Robinson Crusoe, Defoe changes colonialism through the power of fictional representation into the excursions of a lone man who experts an isle, his native companion, and himself. His prescribed realism works to enfold the myths of psychological and financial self-sufficiency in a texture of assuring detail. The highly imaginative environment of Defoe's colonialism is acutely showed in a route from The Complete English Gentleman. There, Defoe vitally assertions that the English Gentleman can take ownership of the world through reading:

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[The English polite man can] make the trip of the world in publications, he may make himself expert of the geography of the Universe in the charts, attlasses and measurements of our mathematician...…But he recievs the concept of the entire at one view. (22526)

The action of Defoe's narrative from the colonial center to the periphery facilitates Crusoe's development as a character. The sheer expanse of the globe through which Crusoe rambles has a paradoxical effect on him: other than being swamped by the vastness of his natural environment and dwindling under sentiments of insignificance, Crusoe's self-image enlarges the more distant he journeys from England. This twice movement--what I mention to in my name as increasing empires, increasing selves--serves to place Crusoe at the center of both the world he lives and Defoe's novel. Crusoe takes on implication as a feature because he stands as a apparently steady and logical subject in the awaken of, what is for him, an increasing empire. This is accurately the kind of mindset that colonialism would need, and Crusoe absolutely is not the first fictional feature to display British self-assurance amidst a persons or in a countryside that could effortlessly overpower him (e.g., Shakespeare's Prospero).  (Donovan, 1968)

Crusoe underscores to him that his preceding life has been forfeited, supplying a every week mnemonic to recall him who was to blame for giving him that second life" (206). I would add that nullifying Friday's persona and annals through the imposition of the title Friday furthermore starts a method of changing Crusoe's native companion into an likeness of Crusoe himself. Friday's transformation is accomplished in large part through learning, which encompasses direction "in the factual Knowledge of Religion," "Europe, and especially England," and "how [they] swapped in Ships to all Parts of the World" (22022). Friday becomes, in numerous ways, a carbon exact replicate of his white savior: "and therefore he was cloath'd for the present, tollerably well; and was strong well pleas'd to glimpse himself nearly as well cloath'd as his Master" (208).

Ironically, Crusoe's yearn for a companion/servant is simultaneously another manifestation of his narcissism. In (re)creating Friday, Crusoe really prolongs his isolation on the island: Friday talks Crusoe's phrases and imitates his actions; he is a meagre elongation of Crusoe himself. In this consider, Friday is not different Crusoe's favourite parrot, who discovers to replicate Crusoe's phrases and even parrots back his own thoughts: "'Poor Robin Crusoe, Where are you? Where have you been? How arrive you here?" (143)

The span to which Crusoe's persona counts on his connection to Friday shows the "menace" of colonial mimicry by revealing the dainty and precarious environment of Crusoe's self-image. Friday, for demonstration, is presented into the innovative after Crusoe's meet with the footprint, which absolutely unsettles Crusoe's self-perception: "I stood like one Thunderstruck, or as if I had glimpsed an Apparition" (153). After eleven years of solitude, throughout which time Crusoe performances the part of "Prince and Lord of the entire Island" (148), the footprint comprises the first dispute to his individual security and authority. Moreover, Crusoe's narcissism is tinted by a neurotic paranoia as a outcome of his meet with the footprint. Crusoe knowledge recurrent nightmares; disquiet constantly afflicts his mind; and every odd sound startles the shipwrecked hero. Crusoe explains: "I state, that I should now tremble at the very Apprehensions of glimpsing a Man, and was prepared to go under into the Ground at but the Shadow or quiet Appearance of a Man's having set his Foot in the island" (156). Crusoe's authority--indeed, his internalized likeness of himself--is endangered by the meagre prospects of an meet with the Other.

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The Christmas Carol

The whole method of isolating the individual, devout, political, and even financial facets of a fictional subject's life inside an envisaged colonial setting assisted exactly to the characteristics we now aide with the early novel: vigilance to one-by-one feature and the particulars of day-to-day know-how, and an strong investigation of the dynamics of selfhood. In A Christmas Carol, an allegory of spiritual values versus material ones, Charles Dickens shows Scrooge having to learn the lesson of the spirit of Christmas, facing the reality of his own callous attitude to others, and reforming himself as a compassionate human being. The reader is shown his harshness in the office, where he will not allow Bob Cratchit enough coal to warm his work cubicle and begrudges his employee a day off for Christmas, even claiming that his clerk is exploiting him. In the scene from the past at Fezziwig’s warehouse, Scrooge becomes aware of the actions of a conscientious, caring employer and feels his first twinge of conscience. The author suggests an origin for Scrooge’s indifference to others as Scrooge is portrayed as a neglected child, the victim of a harsh father intent on denying him a trip home for the holidays and only reluctantly relenting.

The ghost of Marley teaches his former partner the lesson of materialism, as Marley is condemned to drag an enormous chain attached to cash boxes: “I wear the chain I forged in life,” the ghost explains. “I made it link by link.” Marley warns Scrooge that he is crafting a similar fate for himself and that the three spirits are coming to give him a chance to change. Marley is filled with regret for good deeds not done. This theme is repeated when the first spirit exposes Scrooge to phantoms wailing in agony, many of whom Scrooge recognizes. The phantoms suffer because they now see humans who need their help, but they are unable to do anything: It is too late; they have missed their opportunity.

In A Christmas Carol, three spirits take Ebenezer Scrooge on tours of his past to show him where he went wrong, of the present to introduce him to the joy of the holiday season, and of the future to warn him of what may happen unless he changes. Scrooge learns his lesson well and is transformed into a man with a conscience.

As Scrooge has one final glimpse of the future—that of his own grave—he pleads with the ghost to assure him that the visions are of what may be, not what will be. He desperately grasps the hand of the spirit and sees it turn into his bedpost: He is in his own bed, alive, and is a new man delighted with the opportunity to change his life. He begins his transformation immediately by sending an enormous turkey to the Cratchits and then goes through the streets wishing all a Merry Christmas. In the afternoon, he astounds Fred by showing up for Christmas dinner. The next morning at the office, when Bob Cratchit comes in late, Scrooge makes the clerk think that he is about to be fired, then announces that he will receive a raise. Scrooge provides the help needed so that Tiny Tim will not die. The new Scrooge becomes as good a man, as good a friend, as good a master as London ever knew, because he has learned how to keep Christmas.  (Newey, 2004)

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The novel contains important social commentary. As the two gentlemen are collecting for the poor on Christmas Eve, Scrooge contemptuously asks, “Are there no prisons?” One of the gentlemen says that many of the poor, rather than go to the detested workhouses, cruel and inadequate residences for the destitute, would prefer to die. Scrooge replies that “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population,” a reference to Thomas Robert Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), a treatise predicting that population would soon outstrip food production and result in a “surplus population” for which society could not provide. Later, in response to Scrooge’s plea to allow Tiny Tim to live, the Ghost of Christmas Present throws Scrooge’s words back at him: “What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Observing two ragged children clinging to the skirts of the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge asks about them and is told, “They are Man’s. . . . This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want.” The spirit has a warning: “Beware them both, and all their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”  (Gissing, 2001)

This warning suggests that those who do not share in the prosperity may in time prove dangerous to society. The revolution in France half a century earlier may have been on Dickens’ mind. An important idea that the author stresses is that humans are responsible for their own destiny, both as individuals and as a group. He is writing in the tradition of a religion that teaches that people will one day have to answer for their failure to fulfill their responsibility. 

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