How does Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ justify colonialism?

Hi, I have a question and I hope anyone could answer it:

How does Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ justify colonialism? Explain. 


Describe the role of early novels with the help of an example that they promoted colonialism in Europe.


How did the novels written in the 18th century glorify colonization?

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1 Answer

  1. (i) Writing of novels and colonizing the world started simultaneously in Europe. 

    (ii) These novels glorified colonialism. For example, the hero of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ is an adventurer and slave trader. Shipwrecked on an island, he treats the coloured people as inferior. He rescues a native and renames him as ‘Friday’ and tries to change him culturally. His behaviour was not seen as unacceptable. 

    (iii) Most of the writers and readers believed that the colonized people were primitive and barbaric and the colonial rule was essential to civilize them.