The relationship between Robinson and Friday

Salvation and gratitude

The relationship between Robinson and Friday is an important aspect in the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. For the first 24 years, Robinson lives alone on his island. This changes, however, when one day cannibals bring two prisoners to the beach to eat them there. One of them manages to escape from his captors and is rescued by Robinson. The young “savage” therefore immediately submits to Robinson because he is grateful to him for his rescue: 

at length he came close to me; and then he kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and laid his head upon the ground, and taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his head; this, it seems, was in token of swearing to be my slave for ever (Chapter 14, 57% ).

Robinson believes that the savage wants to tell him through his gestures that he wants to be his slave “for ever” (Chapter 14, 57%). From the beginning, Robinson wants to be addressed as “master” by his companion (Chapter 14, 73%). This creates a hierarchical relationship between the two islanders. Robinson feels superior to t...

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