Daniel Defoe was born in 1660 into a protestant family. He attended one of the best Dissenting academies, where he studied modern languages, economics and geography. His father wanted a religious career for him , but Defoe began working and apprentice, and he went into business on his own. He suffered two bankruptcies.
Finally he started to write. He was a journalist, his greatest achievement was the review. He became famous by writing political essays and pamphlets till the reign of Queen Anne, but the queen did not like his critical attitude and so she had arrested him,tried and imprisoned.
When D.Defoe was sixteen he started to write novels which were very successful. Defoe is regarded as the father of the English novel, the representative of a new social class that wanted to see their life and ideals portrayed in literature. His narrative technique was original and became the basis for the development of the realistic novel. Defoe’s novels are fictional autobiographies, always pretending to be true stories through the biographical details and memories provided by the protagonist. The structure of the novels is characterised by a series of episodes and adventures held together by a single hero.
In 1719 D.Defoe published his first novel Robinson Crouse, which was followed by Capitan singleton in 1720.
Robinson kreutznaer is the main character in Defoe’s novel. Born in York in 1632 by a German father and an English mother. At the age of 19 he decides to leave his home to travel around the world. His first journey leads him to Guinea. During his second journey he is captured by Moorish pirates but manages to escape, he is finally rescued by a Portuguese ship and brought to Brazil. There he becomes the owner of a plantation and, needing more labour, sets out on a travel to Africa to get more slaves. During this journey he is shipwrecked on a desert island where he will remain for 28 years. His stay on the island is not seen as a return to nature, but as a chance to exploit and dominate nature. The rest of the novel tells how he gradually re-builds the same kind of society as exists in his country. He writes a diary where he records his experiences and debates contemporary ideas addressing himself,the reader and even God. The novel ends with Robinson Crouse’s return to England and his discovery that his plantation in Brazil has prospered and made him very rich.
The island ; the setting of the story, is the ideal place for Robinson to prove his qualities, to demonstrate that he deserved to be saved by God’s providence.
Defoe’s masterpiece; Robinson Crouse, shows an objective approach to the events through clear and precise details. The language is simple, matter-of-fact and concrete to reinforce the impression of reality conveyed by the first-person narrative.