Robinson Crusoe

By definition, a savage is an uncivilized person. Friday would not fit this
description because he was civilized. He was a product of the civilization that
surrounded him where he came from. His appearance, behaviors, and beliefs were
that of all the others in what might be called his tribe. The simple fact that
he had religious beliefs is evidence of him being somewhat civilized. A savage
can also be thought of as anyone or anything not European. Clearly Friday was
not European, yet his features were not consistent with what would normally be
considered savage. He is described as having a very good Countenance,
not a fierce and surly Aspect, he had all the Sweetness and Softness of
an European in his Countenance too, His Hair was long and black, not
curld like Wool, The Colour of his Skin was not quite black, but
very tawny; and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseous tawny, as the Brasilians, and
Virginians, and other Natives of America are, and his Nose small, not
flat like the Negroes, a very good mouth, thin Lips, and his fine Teeth well
set, and white as Ivory (Defoe 205). When the two characters meet, Friday
approaches Robinson Crusoe in a very sedate manner, Friday is terrified yet he
does not lash out at Robinson Crusoe. He does not seem wild, ferocious or
barbaric in any way. He uses sign language at first to communicate, which
indicates knowledge of some sort of primitive language. He is quick to learn
Robinson Crusoes language and is eager to learn more while Robinson Crusoe
stays clear of learning Fridays language. It is apparent that Friday has
religious or spiritual beliefs right from the beginning. When Robinson Crusoe
saves Friday from the savages that brought him to the island to devour him,
Friday is extremely grateful and he offers himself as an eternal servant to
Robinson Crusoe. At last he lays his Head flat upon the Ground, close to my
Foot, and sets my other Foot upon hi shead, as he had done before; after this
made all the Signs to me of Subjection, Servitude, and Submission imaginable, to
let me know, how he would serve me as long as he livd (Defoe 206).

After it became evident that Friday was not a threat of any sort, Robinson
Crusoe was grateful for his presence. Friday would become a valuable asset for
the daily activities of Robinson Crusoes habitation. All that Robinson Crusoe
had filled his days with before the arrival of Friday had become easier by the
hands of two men rather than one. Fridays ability to work as diligently as he
did is an indication of him being civilized. Along with teaching Friday to speak
his language, Robinson Crusoe also made attempts to retrain his eating habits.

Friday was a cannibal like those who had brought him to the island in the first
place. He enjoyed consuming flesh and Robinson Crusoe made it clear to Friday
that this was not acceptable behavior. With reference to the savages that
Robinson Crusoe had saved Friday from, making signs to me that we should
dig them up again, and eat them (Defoe 206). I found Friday had still a
hankering Stomach after some of the Flesh, and was still a Cannibal in his
nature I had by some Means let him know, that I would kill him if he
offerd it (Defoe 208). In time Robinson Crusoe teaches Friday to eat the
meat of animals rather than hmans. When asked about his religious beliefs,
Friday at first does not understand but eventually he tells of an old
Benamuckee, that livd beyond all (Defoe 216). After many questions,
Robinson Crusoe took it upon himself to teach religion to his newfound friend.

I began to instruct him on the Knowledge of the true God (Defoe 216).

Friday was eager to learn. He asked questions that were not always easy to
answer but at the same time he absorbed every word that came out of Robinson
Crusoes mouth. Friday was a faithful and loyal companion. Defoe allowed
Robinson Crusoe to remain abandoned on this island for many years before Friday
appeared. There was a gradual build-up to his arrival and their meeting.

Fridays deliverance from certain death was the beginning of Robinson
Crusoes preparation for going back home. He was alone on this island without
contact with the outside or civilized world for so long that there needed to e
some sort of reorientation to civilization. The appearance of Friday was the
first stepping stone towards getting reacquainted with other mankind. Robinson
Crusoe needed to regain the ability to trust in those who came to the island in
order for him to find his way back home.

English Essays