Robinson Crusoe

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Analisi del personaggio Robinson in inglese (3 pagine formato doc)

ROBINSON CRUSOE AS ECONOMIC MAN ROBINSON CRUSOE AS ECONOMIC MAN A common interpretation of Crusoe is as economic man.
His relationships with others are based primarily-some would say entirely-on their use for him; they are commodities who (which?) exist for his economic advantage. He forms a friendship with the English captain immediately upon being offered free passage on his ship. Despite Xury's bravery and loyalty, Crusoe sells him back into slavery--and for less than the boat they escaped in (sixty pieces of eight versus eighty pieces of eight). He regrets the loss of Xury twice, as a worker both on his Brazil plantation and on the island. It is on the island that Crusoe discovers an economic system of value based on an item's use; nevertheless, he keeps all the money he recovers from his expeditions to the two wrecks and from the corpse of the drowned boy.
No social pressures or laws limit Crusoe's freedom to act in his own interests, so he functions with total laissez faire. On the island, he is the prototypical self-made man (or is he? He does, after all, rely on goods he retrieves from the two vessels). As economic man, Crusoe has been specifically identified with capitalism, particularly by Marxist critics. His solitary state on the island, his limited relationships with others, including his own family, and the insignificance of sex/women reflect the nature of capitalism, which emphasizes individual self-interest. Because of the primacy of the individual, capitalism tended to diminish the importance of personal as well as group relationships, and especially of those based on sex; for sex, as Weber pointed out, being one of the strongest non-rational factors in human life, is one of the strongest potential menaces to the individual's rational pursuit of economic ends... (Ian Watt, The Rise of the Modern Novel) If you think about it, isn't Crusoe's closest and most meaningful relationship to a woman with the English captain's widow? She provides him with money in his early days and faithfully takes care of his money while he is a castaway. Of his own wife, all he has to say is that his marriage was not "to my disadvantage or dissatisfaction" (298). And the unimportance of women could not be clearer than in the list of goods he sends the colonists, "besides other supplies, I sent seven women" (299). They are merely one type of commodity. Briefly, other basic capitalistic elements in the novel are the importance of contractual relationships, the economic motive, the drive to accumulate, venturing in search of economic opportunity, utilitarianism, and the weak connection to community and country. Ian Watt notes that money elicits the strongest emotion from Crusoe. When Crusoe learns how faithfully the Portuguese captain attended to his affairs, Crusoe is moved to tears and immediately writes a receipt for the 100 moidores the captain gives him. When his wealth arrives from Brazil, Crusoe becomes so ill with emotion that he believes he would