By definition, a savage is an uncivilized person. Friday would not fit thisdescription because he was civilized. He was a product of the civilization thatsurrounded him where he came from. His appearance, behaviors, and beliefswere that of all the others in what might be called his tribe. The simple factthat he had religious beliefs is evidence of him being somewhat civilized. Asavage can also be thought of as anyone or anything not European.
ClearlyFriday was not European, yet his features were not consistent with whatwould normally be considered savage. He is described as having a verygood Countenance, not a fierce and surly Aspect, he had all theSweetness and Softness of an European in his Countenance too, HisHair was long and black, not curld like Wool, The Colour of his Skinwas not quite black, but very tawny; and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseoustawny, as the Brasilians, and Virginians, and other Natives of Americaare, 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). Whenthe two characters meet, Friday approaches Robinson Crusoe in a verysedate manner, Friday is terrified yet he does not lash out at RobinsonCrusoe. He does not seem wild, ferocious or barbaric in any way. He usessign language at first to communicate, which indicates knowledge of somesort of primitive language. He is quick to learn Robinson Crusoes languageand is eager to learn more while Robinson Crusoe stays clear of learningFridays language.
It is apparent that Friday has religious or spiritual beliefsright from the beginning. When Robinson Crusoe saves Friday from thesavages that brought him to the island to devour him, Friday is extremelygrateful and he offers himself as an eternal servant to Robinson Crusoe. Atlast he lays his Head flat upon the Ground, close to my Foot, and sets myother Foot upon hi shead, as he had done before; after this made all the Signsto 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 becameevident that Friday was not a threat of any sort, Robinson Crusoe wasgrateful for his presence. Friday would become a valuable asset for the dailyactivities of Robinson Crusoes habitation. All that Robinson Crusoe hadfilled his days with before the arrival of Friday had become easier by thehands of two men rather than one. Fridays ability to work as diligently as hedid is an indication of him being civilized.
Along with teaching Friday to speakhis 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 firstplace. He enjoyed consuming flesh and Robinson Crusoe made it clear toFriday that this was not acceptable behavior. With reference to the savagesthat Robinson Crusoe had saved Friday from, making signs to me that weshould dig them up again, and eat them (Defoe 206). I found Friday hadstill a hankering Stomach after some of the Flesh, and was still a Cannibal inhis nature I had by some Means let him know, that I would kill him if heofferd it (Defoe 208).
In time Robinson Crusoe teaches Friday to eat themeat of animals rather than hmans. When asked about his religious beliefs,Friday at first does not understand but eventually he tells of an oldBenamuckee, that livd beyond all (Defoe 216). After many questions,Robinson Crusoe took it upon himself to teach religion to his newfoundfriend. I began to instruct him on the Knowledge of the true God (Defoe216). Friday was eager to learn.
He asked questions that were not alwayseasy to answer but at the same time he absorbed every word that came outof Robinson Crusoes mouth. Friday was a faithful and loyal companion.Defoe allowed Robinson Crusoe to remain abandoned on this island formany years before Friday appeared. There was a gradual build-up to hisarrival and their meeting. Fridays deliverance from certain death was thebeginning of Robinson Crusoes preparation for going back home. He wasalone on this island without contact with the outside or civilized world for solong that there needed to e some sort of reorientation to civilization. Theappearance of Friday was the first stepping stone towards gettingreacquainted with other mankind.
Robinson Crusoe needed to regain theability to trust in those who came to the island in order for him to find his wayBibliography:Berlau, John. Spending Limits A Good Idea Whose Time May Not Come. Insight on theNews.; March 10, 1997. v13 n9 p16(2)Doherty, Carol J. Campaign Finance Crusaders Regroup After Latest Defeat.Congressional Quarterly.;October 23,1999.
v57 n28 p2507(9)Mitchell, Allison. McCain-Feingold Bill Is Dead For the Year, Senator Lott Says. NewYork Times.
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