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ingilizce hikayeler (robinson crusoe


Level 6
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3 Şub 2009
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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe opens with an extremely quick rundown of Robinson’s family life: he was born in 1632; his parents are German, and left their hometown of Bremen to settle in Hull, in England. They are middle-class, and Robinson’s father strongly advocates a middle-class life for Robinson too, encouraging him to pursue law as a profession. Both of Robinson’s brothers are missing one was killed in battle, and the other hasn’t been heard from since he began a life of travel and adventure. Robinson wants to pursue travel as well, but is dissuaded by his father. In 1651, against his parents’ wishes, however, Robinson leaves on a series of ill-fated voyages in search of indigenous non-Western peoples with whom he can trade. On one such voyage, Robinson’s ship is captured by pirates and he is made personal slave to the pirate king. After two years, he manages to escape with a fellow prisoner — a Moor, Xury — and the two are taken in by a Portuguese trading ship and brought to Brazil. Robinson becomes quite friendly with the Captain of the ship and sells Xury to him on the condition that he free Xury in ten years (if, the Captain insists, Xury converts to Protestantism). Robinson sets up a plantation in Brazil, growing tobacco, and it quickly begins prospering. Though he could stay and continue to manage his plantation, however, Robinson is struck with the urge to take to sea again, and leaves on a voyage that will eventually lead to disaster. The ship encounters a huge storm, and Robinson is the only survivor to make it onshore a deserted island. He begins to make a life on the island, and will stay there for 28 years.
He keeps a journal early on cataloguing his activities, which include building a fort in which to sleep. He is very concerned that he will be found, either by people indigenous to the area, or by Europeans, and he does not want to surprised or caught off guard. He disguises his fort by walls and vegetation, and builds a ladder to get over the barricades. He also begins domesticating wild goats, building them an enclosure in another part of the island that he refers to as his “Country Seat. ? He kills some of them for food, but also milks them and makes cheese and butter. He teaches himself how to make earthenware pots, and even fashions a makeshift kiln for firing them. He plants corn and barley. He has a pet parrot named Polly, who is the only beast with whom he speaks English for much of the time on the island.
During the course of his stay, he makes his way out to his own shipwrecked boat, as well as to other boats that are wrecked, and ransacks them for their supplies. He eventually comes to live a relatively content, comfortable life that consists for the most part in tending his flocks, occasionally hunting for food, harvesting and gathering grain, and making things like baskets and pots. Late in his stay, however, he notices a footprint in the sand on the other side of the island. This makes Robinson extremely nervous. He begins imagining what sorts of men might have come to his island. He can’t find evidence of where they might have come from, but he is nonetheless in a state of perpetual awareness, going out in the mornings to lurk and wait for visitors. After some time, however, no-one shows and Robinson begins to relax again. But just when he settles down, he finds a collection of bones and the remains of a fire on shore. He knows instantly that they are human bones, and he resolves immediately to kill the cannibals should they ever cross his path. He doesn’t see any cannibals, however, for the next year and a half, and in that time he decides that since they haven’t really done him any harm, he can’t justify killing them. Soon after this determination, he spots five canoes full of cannibals landing on shore. They have two prisoners in tow. He watches one of the prisoners run up the shore and escape his three pursuers. When Robinson comes upon the prisoner he spares his life, even though he realizes that its likely that this man is also a cannibal. The man, who Robinson begins referring to as “my Savage, ? expresses extreme gratitude, and although they don’t speak the same language, Robinson understands that the man will be indebted to him for the rest of his life. Robinson names the man “Friday, ? and the two live together on the island for the rest of Robinson’s stay there. Robinson teaches Friday some English, and they spend much time debating the virtues of their respective religions. Robinson is determined to make Friday accept Protestantism, however, and lectures him at length about what he believes to be its superiority over tribal customs. Robinson claims not to own Friday like a slave, but of course the issue is complicated because he does believe Friday to be under a binding contract to do whatever he wants of him. The issues of slavery and bondage are extremely complex in this novel, and it is important to pay attention in these moments to the difference between what Robinson claims to be his attitude towards Friday, and how he actually regards and treats him. Giving Friday a European name, for example, might be understood as an implicit gesture of ownership.
Friday and Robinson finally escape the island when a British trading ship lands onshore and its sailors mutiny. Robinson befriends the Captain, and organizes himself and other sympathetic sailors together to win the ship back. Robinson has much stored firepower so they overwhelm the rebel sailors and in 1687, 28 years after he arrived on the island, they take off for Europe. At this point Robinson tries to return to his plantation but finds that he is uncomfortable with a life of luxury, so he decides to return to England. He determines to travel by land because he is afraid of his luck at sea. However, en route to England, his party is attacked by a wolf pack and Robinson is lucky to escape with his life. He appears to be settled back in Hull, but the novel closes with Robinson’s wanderlust creeping up on him again. He can’t stay away from the life of trade, and has decided, at last, to return to sea.
Defoe’s preface is less than a page long, but is important to pay attention to because it lays out the “Editor’s ? rationale for publishing Robinson Crusoe’s history. This “Editor, ? however, is not Defoe’s real editor, but rather the first fictional character of the novel. The Preface, then, is Defoe’s method for framing the upcoming narrative in terms of issues relevant to the early eighteenth century. Since the period saw an explosion of book selling (the printing press had come into its own), as well as the first copyright law ever to be instituted, early modern culture felt overwhelmed by the availability of books to the public. With such a relative wealth of books, people wondered, how would one know which books were worth reading and which weren’t? Perhaps in response to this, Defoe’s Preface seems obsessed with justifying its own publication, even going so far as to claim that it is not a novel, and is instead a history. As a history, the Editor argues, Robinson Crusoe is worth publishing because it can provide a (negative) example to readers — showing them what not to do in order to live a satisfying and safe life. The Editor then goes on to say that this history is the most publicity-worthy of any he knows because Crusoe’s life is more filled with unbelievable adventure than any other. He is thus making two arguments: the first is that we should regard Crusoe as a true (that is, believable) history, and the second is that this history is worth telling precisely because of its unbelievability. Although the Preface seems designed to clarify the terms of the novel, then, Crusoe begins with a contradiction.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, & c.
Middle Class Virtues Vs. Early Wanderlust
Robinson opens the story with a brief history of his upbringing; he’s part-German, we learn, although his last name is fully British. It was changed from Kreutznauer, he tells us, when his father left Bremen for Hull, the English town where Robinson grew up. Robinson has two brothers, one killed in battle by the Spanish, and the other gone missing. Although the middle classes in eighteenth-century England traditionally taught their sons trades so that they could earn a living, Robinson is uninterested in pursuing the law — the trade for which he had been prepared. He is much more strongly inclined towards a life of adventure and travel, and he lets us know even on the first page that this tendency will end in great unhappiness.
When Robinson informs his parents about his wanderlust, they attempt to dissuade him. Robinson’s father explains to him that travel is only for the desperately poor, who have nothing to lose, or for the fabulously wealthy, who can afford to risk their fortunes on adventure. Middle class boys, he tells Robinson, must be content with a life of work. Furthermore, this is the most satisfying life, he argues, claiming that rich and poor alike are jealous of those who earn their living by their own merit, and whose pleasures — like quiet and sociability — are domestic ones. Robinson’s father pleads with him so earnestly, even sobbing openly, that Robinson decides to try to put his desires aside and continue to live at home. A year later, however, he can bear it no longer and one day while he is down at the docks, mingling amongst sailors, Robinson meets up with a friend of his who is bound for London. Without so much as a second thought, Robinson tells us, he joins him.
The Travails of Travel
Immediately, however, Robinson regrets his decision. The ship is wracked by bad weather and he becomes violently ill. He prays to God to let him make it to shore. He pledges to go home. The other sailors mock Robinson for his terror; this is but minor turbulence, they tell him. And by the next day, the storm subsides and Robinson’s promises — made in the midst of miserable nausea — fade. He begins to enjoy life at sea, watching the sunset and sunrise over the water, and thinking delightedly that it is the most beautiful sight he’s ever seen. The following day, however, a strong storm hits and Robinson is shaken once again. He again prays to God to allow him to change his mind and return to Hull. The storm wreaks havoc on the boat, and the sailors fire their guns wildly as a distress signal. Never having heard guns before, Robinson faints dead away on the deck and is kicked aside by his mates. When he wakes, he finds himself forced to abandon ship with his comrades. Rescued by a passing boat, Robinson watches over his shoulder as the ship he vacated only moments earlier plunges to the bottom of the ocean.
One would think that Robinson might turn back now. But he pushes on, obstinately attached to the idea of a wayfarers life. What’s more, he is ashamed to think of his neighbors laughing at him, and refuses to return home. He travels to London on foot instead, and stays there for two years, becoming friendly with the master of another ship, who entices Robinson on a voyage to Guinea. This is the trip that settles it for Robinson, provoking an addiction to travel and seducing him by the process of trading with indigenous peoples. Since non-Westerners did not value gold in the way that Western Europeans did at the time (indeed, Western Europe was developing a capitalist economy that depended on the gold standard during this time), traders were able to receive much more for their barter than they would on the continent. Robinson is hooked, and after he returns to London, laden with booty, he wants immediately to head out again. On his next trip, however, Robinson’s boat is raided by pirates, who capture him and make him the personal slave of their leader, a position that Robinson maintains for another two years — enough time to ingratiate himself to the pirate king.
Because his master (who Robinson refers to as his “patroon ?) trusts Robinson, he eventually slips up. He had asked Robinson to serve himself and some visiting Moors while the group takes a fishing journey. Robinson prepares the boat for the guests, but when it comes time for the trip, his patroon comes on board alone, explaining that the guests are delaying their visit. He suggests that Robinson take the boat out by himself to do some fishing for the pirates, and Robinson, seeing his chance for escape, agrees. Robinson is outfitted with servants of his own — a Moor named Ismael and a young boy named Xury — and he convinces Ismael to load lots of supplies onboard the boat — gunpowder, tools, beeswax (to make candles), and twine. The three set out to sea and Robinson begins fishing as if he had nothing up his sleeve. When Ismael isn’t looking, however, he pushes him overboard, and continues out to sea with Xury, who he feels certain he can train to be loyal to him.
The Seductions of Travel
The two men set out to sea, and drop anchor off an unknown coast. Robinson is deeply apprehensive about the foreignness of this land, and describes passing a night filled with ominous noises coming from wild creatures. Robinson’s account of the animals of this land converges with his fear that it also harbors indigenous peoples, and this is one of the novel’s first lengthy amalgamations of wild animals with non-Westerners, whom he refers to as “savages. ? When they land and search for water, however, Robinson and Xury find the coast uninhabited by men. There are plenty of beasts, though, and Robinson shoots a lion, which they skin and take with them, for Robinson is becoming savvy about the possibilities for trade, and believes that the lion skin may come in handy.
The duo can find no people, though, and at this point they want to for their provisions are running low. Robinson is hoping to meet with other European trading ships, and they scan the coastline for inhabitants as they travel. When Robinson spots some Africans, he attempts to strike up an exchange with them, indicating by sign language that he and Xury are looking for food. When the Africans bring the food, Robinson worries initially that he has nothing to trade for it, but just then two leopards appear on the scene, affording Robinson the opportunity to repay the natives by shooting one and scaring the other away. This rescue sets the scene for a more extended trade between Robinson and the Africans, and he receives more food and earthenware vessels.
After eleven more days of travel, Xury spots another ship, one that Robinson identifies as Portuguese, and they set off after it. The two quickly board the friendly ship, and the Captain offers to put Robinson up for nothing in exchange. The Captain, does, however, want to buy Xury off of Robinson, who, incidentally, had not owned Xury to begin with. Robinson is hesitant at first, since he has come to value liberty after his own time as a pirate slave. But the Captain promises to give Xury his liberty in ten years on the condition that he accepts Christianity, so Robinson accedes. The ship heads for Brazil, and on arrival Robinson buys a plantation and sets up home there for two years, eventually becoming a tobacco farmer in conjunction with his neighbor, a British-born Portuguese named Wells. Robinson is not entirely satisfied with this new life, of course, since he realizes that he is now approaching the middle-class status that his father had urged him towards earlier. He is a comfortable landowner, but begins to feel confused. If he’s gone through all the hardship at sea just to end up where his father wanted him to be all along, what use was it?
His friend the Portuguese Captain offers Robinson a deal: he will procure Robinson’s holdings — whatever money and possessions he has — from London on his next visit there. When he receives his things, Robinson immediately sells them, for British goods are more valuable in Brazil. With the money, he buys a slave and a servant. Robinson is becoming very wealthy, and yet he is still drawn to a life of adventure. He begins telling his neighbors about the thrill of trading with indigenous peoples. Robinson emphasizes particularly the opportunities such trade provides to procure gold at an incredibly cheap rate, since non-Westerners do not value gold in the way the Europeans do, and are willing, Robinson explains, to accept trinkets such as shells and beads in exchange for gold. Robinson also mentions the possibility of buying slaves in Guinea. He is careful to explain to the reader that ordinarily slave-buying is only possible through the assent of the Kings of Spain, which makes it a very rare and expensive enterprise. The neighbors are especially interested in this. When they propose to Robinson that he come along and assist them in buying slaves, he hesitates only to ruminate on the fact that to leave his prosperous plantation now would be to court financial disaster. As a born adventurer, however, and as someone who dances dangerously close to self-destruction, he agrees to the trip.
Unsurprisingly, the group meets with a ferocious hurricane almost immediately after they set sail. The ship is thrown desperately off course, and they are forced to land wherever they can find a coastline. Making towards land in a lifeboat, the group is swallowed by a huge wave. Fortuitously, and only after he is tossed violently for some time, Robinson is washed up on shore. Night is coming on, and he is of course panicked, since he has no clothes save the wet ones he’s got on, no comrades (they all seem to be dead), no food, and no provisions of any kind. He is at the mercy of the elements, as well as any wild animals that come upon him. He sleeps in a tree, hoping that that will shelter him from any attack.
In the morning, Robinson finds that his ship has moved during the night, and is now stuck on a large rock. He manages to swim out to it and raids the ship for food and water. He then begins to think of building a raft to carry his booty to shore. Robinson’s description of building the raft is rather detailed, and part of the reason for this is in order to explain the surprising turn of events in Robinson’s thoughts about value. Whereas the trip itself is premised on his money-hungry desires — his urges for more gold and cheap slaves — during the building of the raft he realizes that the wood he’s found is worth more to him than any amount of gold would be. You can’t float on gold.
Robinson takes ammunition, guns, swords, water and food with him on shore. After landing — no small task considering he has no rudder to guide him or oars to propel him — he begins to seek a place to set up camp. Upon exploration of the landscape, Robinson is more dejected than ever: he is on an island. And what’s more, it’s barren. He decides to return to the ship several more times to gather supplies like tools, clothes, a hammock and a spare sail. He is also pleased to discover a vast supply of bread.
After he’s finished emptying the ship of its useful contents, Robinson builds a tent — another enterprise that is described in great detail. He even provides himself with a door. He brings his provisions inside, including the gunpowder, which he carefully separates into bags and stashes inside his dwelling, which he now refers to as his cave. Only after he explains how he is able to produce this makeshift home for himself, does Robinson describe his state of mind. He’s preoccupied, he tells us, with the conviction that he will end his days on the island — a thought that produces tears when he thinks about it. Robinson also muses on the cruelty of a divine force that would abandon him so helplessly, leaving him in such a desolate, impossible state. He finds it hard to be thankful that his life is saved. Nevertheless, Robinson always falls short of total misery when he reminds himself that the other ten sailors perished in the sea. When he considers that he alone was spared this death, and furthermore that he was able to retain much of the ship’s provisions, Robinson feels fortunate.
The Pros and Cons of Stranding
Robinson next lists things which are less obvious necessities — less obvious, that is, than the saving of his life, and the making of shelter — such as the tools he uses for keeping track of time, carving such information into a post, and cutting a notch for every day he spends on the island. He also tells us that a dog and two cats have survived the shipwreck, and cohabit the island with him. He finds pen, ink, and paper, and explains that he is interested in writing down his experiences on the island – not to leave to any spawn he may produce, for he feels sure that he is unlikely to have any heirs, but in order to give vent to the thoughts that besiege him during the day. He has no outlet, no other human beings to distract him or converse with him. He turns to writing instead. He lists the pros and cons of his situation, referring to them as the evils and the goods of his life on the island. Among the evils, he lists:
The impossibility of his recovery.
His isolation.
His lack of sufficient clothes.
His relative lack of defense against wild beasts.
His lack of another person to speak with .
Among the goods are the following:
The fact that he is alive.
The possibility that if he was saved by divine providence from the shipwreck, he may be saved from the island by divine providence as well.
That he is not starving.
That he has not seen any menacing wild beasts yet.
The fact that he was able to get supplies from the ship.
Robinson uses the list as an example for the reader that anything negative, such as his shipwreck, can also contain positive elements in it. Sufficiently cheered, Robinson sets about learning how to build things that he previously did not know how to construct, such as a chair and a table. He reflects happily that any man can learn mechanical skills, given the opportunity. He also begins to keep a journal, which he then reproduces for the reader. We should note also that Robinson reconstructs the journal as if he’d been keeping it from the beginning of his stranding, when, in fact, he has not.
September 30, 1659
He is shipwrecked.
Oct. 1
He discovers the ship’s proximity.
Oct. 1-24
He pillages the ship.
Oct. 25
It rains and the ship breaks into pieces.
Oct. 26
He searches for a place to pitch his tent
Oct. 26-30
He sets up his tent and stores his provisions inside.
Oct. 31
He kills a goat for food
Nov. 1
He spends the first night in the tent on a hammock
Nov. 4
He begins to set a schedule for himself.
Nov. 5
He kills a wild cat and preserves her skin.
Nov. 6
He makes his table
Nov. 7-12
He makes his chair.
Nov. 14-16
He makes boxes for storage
Nov. 17
He begins to dig in the rock behind his tent to make more storage room.
Nov. 18
He tries, and fails, to make a wheelbarrow.
Nov. 23


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