Daniel Defoe (Literary Criticism) Essay

1973 Words Oct 16th, 1999 8 Pages
Daniel Defoe used realism to enhance his novel, Robin Crusoe. Many critics agree with this statement, while some think that he should have been more accurate with his realism. Critics also found the book to be very enlightening and beneficial to read and they found that it appealed to a very wide variety of people including the rich and poor and the young and old. Last but not least, some critics found that it showed lack of ability to create characters and events.

Daniel Defoe was born to James and Mary Defoe in St. Gates, London in 1660. His family were all Dissenters, also known as Presbyterians. He had a very good education and his father hoped that he would become a minister, but he chose not to. Defoe's mother died when he was
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The Editor believes the thing to be a just history of fact; neither is there any appearance of fiction in it; and however, thinks, because all such things are dispatched, that the improvement of it, as well to the diversion as to the instruction of the reader, will be the same. And as such, he thinks, without farther compliment to the world, he does them a great service in the publication" (Tucker 89).

This preface is basically stating Defoe's goals of making the novel seem as realistic as possible. As said by Arthur Secord,

"The fact that Defoe is attempting to have his stories pass as authentic relations means that he must give the larger features of history and of geography with fidelity……When he fabricates the journal o fan imaginary saddler who endured the rigors of the great plague, or describes fictitious exploits of Carleton in the wars of Flanders, Defoe incorporates in the narrative a large proportion of authentic happenings; not to do so would lay him open to immediate detection as a writer of fiction. Where does he get those facts? He borrows them from histories and newspapers. In the invention of action the writer of historical fiction is always limited more or less to matters in which he will not seriously conflict with the statements of history" (Tucker 47).

What Arthur Secord is saying that if Defoe

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