What social values are most supported in the novel Robinson Crusoe? That is, how does this novel shape the way Daniel Defoe thinks society should act or behave?

Essay Questions:

  1. Is the novel Robinson Crusoe written in support of or against the middle class in 18th Century England?

  2. What social values are most supported in the novel Robinson Crusoe? That is, how does this novel shape the way Daniel Defoe thinks society should act or behave?

  3. Why is writing so important to Crusoe? What does he hope to gain by writing a diary of his adventures?

  4. What does the novel seem to say, be the difference between a human want and a human need? Or, how can we define the difference between want and need using the novel Robinson Crusoe?

  5. What does this novel say about the issues of God and religion in the 18th century England? How are God and religion used in the novel – what is their purpose?

  6. According to Robinson Crusoe, how does one build a civilization? What is needed in order to create a kingdom or an empire?

  7. Robinson Crusoe gives us a unique perspective into the British desire to colonize foreign lands. Where does this desire come from? What parts of British culture/values support colonization?

  8. Many people have asked how it was possible for Britain to colonize so many countries with so little resistance. Using Robinson Crusoe as your model, why was colonization so successful?

  9. In what ways does Crusoe’s discussion of the Africans, South Americans, and Middle Easterners justify the need for colonization?

  10. What does the novel say about violence? When is violence justified and when is it not justified? How is the British system of justice supported in the novel?

  11. Using Robinson Crusoe as your guide, where does racism come from? Why does it exist? What purpose does it serve?

  12. What is the difference between someone who is civilized and someone who is a savage, according to Robinson Crusoe?…………….

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