by Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Page Number). We used the 2008 Oxford World Classics edition.
I cannot explain by an possible Energy of Words, what a strange longing or hankering of Desires I felt in my Soul upon this Sight; breaking out sometimes thus; O that there had been but one or two; nay, or but one Soul sav'd out of this Ship, to have escap'd to me, that I might but have had one Companion, one Fellow-Creature to have spoken to me, and to have convers'd with! In all the Time of my solitary Life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a Desire after the Society of my Fellow-Creatures, or so deep a Regret at the want of it. (158)
Crusoe spends many years in complete and utter isolation. His lament here – in which he desires the company of another person – would seem to suggest that man is indeed a social creature by nature.
I have been in all my Circumstances a Memento to those who are touch'd with the general Plague of Mankind, whence, for ought I know, one half of their Miseries flow; I mean, that of not being satisfy'd with the Station wherein God and Nature has plac'd them; for not to look back upon my primitive Condition, and the excellent Advice of my Father, the Opposition to which, was, as I may call it, my ORIGINAL SIN; (164)
For Crusoe, aspiring above his station – the middle class – drives all of his misery and misadventures. He even calls his disobedience to his father's advice his "original sin" (and with some emphasis on that term, we'd sure say).
But I needed none of all this Precaution; for never Man had a more faithful, loving, sincere Servant, than Friday was to me; without Passions, Sullenness or Designs, perfectly oblig'd and engag'd; his very Affections were ty'd to me, like those of a Child to a Father; (176)
Relieved of his isolation, Crusoe extends his society to include Friday, a native that he rescues from the clutches of the cannibals. Crusoe establishes his relationship with Friday as a paternal one. Why?