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“Defoe’s “”Robinson Crusoe”” and Swift’s “”Gulliver”” Comparative Analysis” Essay

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Updated: Feb 1st, 2022

Introduction

Robinson Crusoe along with Lemuel Gulliver is known all over the world as one of the most outstanding models of travelers and adventurous personages anthemed in the literature. These two heroes represent the idealistic vision of men of strong will and adventurous spirit by Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. As these literature heroes represent related times and cultures there exist numerous similarities between them; however, there also exist certain differences mainly explained by the differences in literature vision by Defoe and Swift. Generally, evaluating these differences, it appears that Robinson Crusoe can be seen as a wiser person with a stronger will as compared to Lemuel Gulliver, whereas Gulliver can be evaluated as a person of a more adventurous and adapting spirit.

Main text

First of all, speaking about similarities between the main characters of Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, it should be stated that both of them are an embodiment of men of strong will able to cope with any of the possible difficulties to come. They may be compared to universal soldiers who will be able to cope with any of the problems which they may happen to meet on their way.

Next, evaluating the differences between them, it appears that Robinson Crusoe can be seen as a man of a stronger spirit and wiser approach. This is explained by the events he had to go through. The personage speaks about his experience:

“I have been in all my Circumstances a Memento to those who are touched with the general Plague of Mankind, whence, for ought I know, one-half of their Miseries flow; I mean, that of not being satisfied 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.” (Newcomb, 2002, p. 53).

In contrast to Robinson Crusoe, Lemuel Gulliver appears as a person of a more adventurous spirit with a thirst for new revelations and discoveries who at times fails to show important wisdom when meeting his trials. The personage speaks of himself in the following way:

“That blindness is an addition to courage, by concealing dangers from us; that the fear you had for your eyes, was the greatest difficulty in bringing over the enemy’s fleet, and it would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of the Ministers since the greatest princes do no more” (Damrosch, 2008, p.382).

Conclusion

Concluding on all the above-discussed information, it should be stated that both Robinson Crusoe and Lemuel Gulliver can be seen as an embodiment of men of strong will and excellent adaptation skills. Appearing in the most complicated situations, these two characters always managed to find a way out and even prove to be successful after solving the emerged difficulty. Of course, there also exist significant differences between these two characters. In particular, Robinson Crusoe as a personage put to a real-life situation shows himself as a fearless man of practical way thinking able to cope with the most diversified problems that life on the uninhabited island may present. In contrast, Lemuel Gulliver is a character coping with fairy-tale-like situations and difficulties who is at times not very successful and even unfortunate. Gulliver’s character is more of an adventure and entertainment than a practical description of a strong man inspiring people for feats of spirit..

References

Damrosch, D. (2008). The Longman Anthology of World Literature, Volume D, 2nd ed. New York: Pearson Education.

Newcomb, L. H. (2002). Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England. New York: Columbia University Press. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Defoe's ""Robinson Crusoe"" and Swift's ""Gulliver"" Comparative Analysis." February 1, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/defoes-robinson-crusoe-and-swifts-gulliver/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Defoe's ""Robinson Crusoe"" and Swift's ""Gulliver"" Comparative Analysis." February 1, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/defoes-robinson-crusoe-and-swifts-gulliver/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) '"Defoe's ""Robinson Crusoe"" and Swift's ""Gulliver"" Comparative Analysis"'. 1 February.

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