Daniel Defoe: riasssunto in inglese

Daniel Defoe: riassunto della vita e struttura della novella "Robinson Crusoe" (1 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di chry305


An eventful life.

Daniel Defoe was born in 1660, in London, and was originally christened Daniel Foe, changing his name around the age of thirty-five to sound more aristocratic. Like his character Robinson Crusoe, Defoe was a third child. His mother and father, James and Mary Foe, were Presbyterian dissenters. As a boy, Daniel witnessed two of the greatest disasters of the seventeenth century: a recurrence of the plague and the Great Fire of London in 1666.
These events may have shaped his fascination with catastrophes and survival in his writing. He studied in one of the best Dissenting Academies and then became a merchant dealing in various products such as wine and tobacco. He joined William of Orange's army and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Whig party.


Daniel Defoe went bankrupt and to solve his financial problem turned to journalism. When Queen Anne ascended the throne, his political fortune changed. He was arrested and tried because of his position in defence of the Dissenters, sentenced to three days in the pillory and then spent some months in prison. To be released he denied his Whig ideas and became a secret agent of the government, supporting either Tories or Whigs according to what minister was in power. In 1704 he wrote and published his journal, “The Review”, the periodical which he published two or three times a week. In 1719, at the age of fifty-nine he turned to prose fiction, certainly not for literary or artistic purposes, but considering it a kind of business activity which now paid better than many others.
He published his first novel, Robinson Crusoe, in 1719, attracting a large middle-class readership. He followed in 1722 with Moll Flanders, the story of a tough, streetwise heroine whose fortunes rise and fall dramatically. Defoe’s last novel was The Fortunate Mistress, better know as Roxana. Defoe died in London on April 24, 1731, of a fatal “lethargy”, an unclear diagnosis that may refer to a stroke.

Daniel Defoe: biografia


Structure of the novel. Defoe's long narratives were produced with extraordinary speed; they were fictional autobiographies always pretending to be 'true' stories thanks the biographical details and memories provided by the protagonist. The device of the first person narrator and the documentary style helped him to create a realistic atmosphere so that the readers could easily identify themselves with his characters.
The structure of the novels is characterized by a series of episodes and adventures held together by the unifying presence of a single hero, who is a 'flat' character, such as a person that does not change his ideas or behaviours in the course of the novel.


Characterisation. His focus on the actual conditions of everyday life and avoidance of the courtly and the heroic made Defoe a revolutionary in English literature and helped define the new genre of the novel. Stylistically, Defoe was a great innovator. Dispensing with the ornate style associated with the upper classes, Defoe used the simple, direct, fact-based style of the middle classes, which became the new standard for the English novel.