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By Maximillian E. Novak

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Extra resources for Defoe and the Nature of Man

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Such a man would feel nothing in himself at first but impotency and weakness; his fears and apprehensions would be excessive; as appears from in stances (were there any necessity of proving it) of savages found in forests, trembling at the motion of a leaf, and flying from every shadow. 2 The reference which Montesquieu supplies for what he ob viously regards as a self-evident statement is to a 'savage* found 1 'Satyr Against Mankind', Poems, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto (1953), p. 122. a Trans. Thomas Nugent (1949), p.

4 rescued from this condition by his tools, the symbols passes his Crusoe is life of learning, the arts, society, and that civilization which is the reverse of man's natural state. But as soon as he discovers the footprint in the sand, Crusoe returns to his original state in which fear rules every aspect of life. what ridiculous Resolution Men take', says Crusoe, 'when possess'd with Fear! It deprives them of the Use of those Means O which Reason offers for their Relief. >s Ruled by his passions, Crusoe thinks of destroying everything which might indicate to of isolation instead of wasting their time on a 'downright Sailor, whose only Study was how to support himself, during his Confinement, and all his Conversation with Goats'.

Lee, Daniel Defoe, ii. 182. 3 i n^ THE STATE OF NATURE 5* over his parrot, goats, dog, and cat. ' 1 That Defoe was half-serious in sion of. suggesting Crusoe's right to call himself King of the island, there can be no doubt. Coleridge wondered whether Crusoe's claim was valid, but according to Grotius, islands in the sea belonged to the first inhabitant. Nor is there any doubt about the kind of monarch Crusoe 'Subjects', he reveals is, for in the passage describing his his absolute power: my Subjects at my absolute Command.

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