Daniel Defoe is a great English novelist in the 18th centery.Robinson Crusoe,universally considered his masterpiece,is either a pioneering English adventure fiction very much in the spirit of thr time,of the typical optimism and entreprising spirit.It not only is a vivid narrative story about the surprising and adventuring life of Robinson,but also has the theme of persistence and aggressive spirit which is represented on a series of oppositional environmental accompanied setting discourses:difficulties and will,dangers and reason,unkonwn and future and all that.With the historical approach,this paper sets on the history of European neoclassicism,analyzes the depiction of characrers,narrative words and the employment of symbolism,reveals the optimism and entrepreneurial spirit through out the fabric of the story.This thesis gives us a new perspective in the appreciation this classical work and a typical case study to acquaint optimism and aggressive spirit.
Key words: Robinson Crusoe, optimism, aggressive spirit
Robinson Crusoe is a legendary person created by Daniel Defoe,who never went to university,but receivied a good education in one of the best Dissenting academies.This traited him a stubbon man never beaten during all his frustrated life.And the story of Robinson Crusoe is written in the Neoclassical period.And accordingly，the time background consisted Robinson`s optimism and entreprenerial spirit for picturesque blueprint of one’s future accompanied with plight and difficulties, and According to the story that he survived on a lonely island for twenty-eight years with his amazing willpower，and finally he overcame the adversity and created the splendor of his own life. When he was confronting adversity, he knew to lose is another way to gain, made plans for his future life. He did everything according to certain plans that himself also didn’t acquainted previously. But we alweys could seen from the story that he never throw in towel before difficulties set in front of him one after another. This paper is intended to eulogies this entrepreneurial pioneer and optimistic spirit and praised Robinson and his mind choose to live according to their own personality, but also tells us that life is full of uncertainty, we should stick to our entrepreneurial spirit and optimistic attitude towards life is valuable, especially for the new generations.
2. Neoclassical period
What we now call the neoclassical period is the one in English literature berween the return of the Stuarts to the English throne in 1660 and the full assertion of Romanticism which came with the publication of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798.
2.1 The aggressive spirit flourished renson
The English society of the neoclassical period was a turbulent one.With the English society of the neoclassical period was a turbulent one,the British bourgeois or middle class also grew rapidly,along with the fast economic development of English as a nation.Marx once pointed out that the bourgeois class of the eighteenth-century England was a revolutionary class then and quite different from the feufal aristocratic class.They were people who had known poverty and hardship,and most of thern had obtained their presentr social status through hard work.To work,to economize and to accumulate wealth constituted the whole meaning of their life.this aspectof social life is best found in the realistic novels of the cenrury.
Neoclassical period was a progressive intellectual movement which flourished its propose to enlighten the whole would with the light of modern philosophical and artistic ideas.And they celebrated reason or rationality,equality and science.They hold that aggressive and rationality or reason should be the only ,the final caudse of any human thought and activeties. As a member of the middle class,Defoe spoke of and to the menbers of his class and his nobels enjoyed great popularity among the less cultivated readers,and which lesd to his work were served for people as a optimistic and aggressive spirit.
2.2 Inclination for aggressive spirit of English society
During English Neoclassical period,colonialism lead to the consequence of western capital accumulation,and it cultivated people keeping a light and optimistic state of mind to capture the future and wealth,so they always maintained a thought,just like Robinson hold,that:to ponder interminably over the reason for one’s own existence or the meaning of life in general seems to, from an objective point of view, to be sheer folly. And yet everyone holds certain ideals by which he guides his aspiration and his judgment. The ideals which have always showm before and filled with the joy of living are survival,live and going back to England. To make a goal of comfort and happiness has never appealed to; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle,especially for Britain,on which country from the Empire to the common people were eagle to spair wealth extension and avaridous content.The lesson of the story, I suggested, was that in some strange sense we are more whole when we are missing something. The man who has everything is in some ways a poor man. He will never know what it feels like to yearn, to hope, to nourish his soul with the dream of something better.Are you nearer to your port today than you were yesterday? Yes, -- you must be a little nearer to some port or other; for since
your ship was first lunched upon the sea of life, you have never been still for a single moment; the sea is too deep, you could not find an anchorage if you would.
Its never obviously shown us a theory just like that future is not more than abundant wealth and a kindom of sumptuous lives which needs boldness and enterprising spirit.
3. These Entrepreneurial Spirit and Optimistic shown in
Robinson Crusoe’s several decisions
Before he decided to go outside and to strive to his own life, there are a serious of times for him to made a great conflict in his mind .And during this process ,it reflected a great entrepreneurial spirit of the prognosis. Following are analysis of the three times choice
3.1 The entrepreneurial spirit in Robinson Crusoe’s launch out On the one hand, he was undoubted weak for his bourgeois shape, he was tired of to being a commercial life, and was afraid of the existed and disagreeable way to be rich, he devoting all his life to such a profession; he wanted to have another life style which could supply himself easy and energy.
In some respects, he wanted to achieve a life what he wanted, and be far away from the fierce competed world. He wanted to live a special life.
On the other hand, his entrepreneurial spirit doomed him to like freedom, and attempt to pursue his own life, he wouldn’t satisfied with the present life, he was also willing to achieve his dream at any price, even work hard. His strong entrepreneurial spirit was showed completely here. His weakness in the common life just converted to the strong point of his later sailing life, which was a sharp different world from what he had lived for about twenty years.
3.2. The first exemplification of his entrepreneurial spirit
Robinson Crusoe was supposed to live happy and easy life by his parents, but he attempted to go out from his parents’ house to sail in the sea without following his parents’ advice for his own dream though his parents had leaved lots of property for
him. He come out with several companies and began his sailing life. His entrepreneurial spirit was showed completely here.
3.3. The second reflection of this spirit
All of his thought encouraged him to go out to the sea, and strive for his one life. And to made one of his friends, who persuaded him to go to London, so he suffered the first storm in the sea. At this time, he wanted to go home very much and fell regret that he did not follow his parents’ words, but when the sea calmed down, he forgot the fear and worry during the storm, just concentrated himself to the beautiful and peaceful evening. This was the second time he followed his own thought and created the prelude of his later lonely life.
3.4. Aggressive spirit shown during he suffered series of Disasters
Once he decided to stay in the sea, his fate could not be controlled by himself ,but only the disasters in the sea. The storm was fierce. And changeable. It could known what his life anytime would be, before his second unhappiness was coming. This was a storm lasted longer and more serious than the first time. Lucky, he and his company were saved. . But still he did not go back just for his pity, he was afraid of confronting with the discrimination and hatred opposed the best motions that he should to go back home, That they are not ashamed to sin, and yet was ashamed to regret, not ashamed of the Action for which they ought to be, but they are ashamed of the returning. This was the third time his personality put him to the abyss of his unlucky fate.
3.5. Being locked in the isolated island
For what he did above, he continue to sail with his company, but unluckily, they were attacked by a group of pirates, and they were arrested, Though he finally
escaped from his Master, and earned enough money by doing some trade with others, and could live a quiet retired life and of which his father had so carefully describes .he was still interested in some other things, he finally went to Africa to do the business of selling slaves, which was the real beginning of his unlucky fate. From now on, he was locked in the isolated island and he waken up to that tomorrow will coming like the sun also will rising which the existence was the eternal.The optimistic state of mind was obviously illastrated by his deportment and thought as theatrical as the God just made a joke with him and then commanded you to survive.
4. The Summative Analysis of Robinson Crusoe’s Optimistic
and Entrepreneurial spirit
From the above analysis of he experiences facts, we could know that Robinson Crusoe was a person with unreasonable, even mad personality, he could be easy and happy whatever life style he chose as long as he had not decide to go to Africa. Before he was reduced to be a lonely man, he had experienced the similar condition, the only difference was he was saved and could live the normal life, he himself once said that if he was not so aggressive and impious, he could never experience such kind of terrible life. When he was concentrated in the great ecstasy of survival, new danger was waiting for him. The life on the isolated island was difficult that we can not imagine. There were no existed food, no place to have a rest, no people to communicate with, besides all of these, the worst was the fear itself, he would be attacked by wild animal anytime, Therefore, he must be alert to everything every time. If Robinson Crusoe was weak, he might have lost his heart to continue his life, and might do nothing. But he did not do so, the base of his unlucky fate was just his aggressive positive attitude, therefore, he was not depressed, not negative but positive to fight against nature, all of his activities were not only for survival, but also for creation. The first problem he must solve on the island was survival, Robinson Crusoe was born in the middle class family, so he believed his own strength very much, he believe only his own effort, not others’, can help him to make his dream come true, to help him climb up the ladder of the social. Therefore, he moved all of the useful materials to the island and did not fell tired for about forty times. So, he felt not so sad when the wrecked ship was flown by sea wave and then he built tent, made fence, built the house to live in, caught fish and sheep as food. In a word, he did everything he could to prepare for his later life on the isolated island. Thank goodness, he attained enough food and materials to live on, and because of his kindness, he saved a person named Friday, who helped Robinson Crusoe a lot, finally they saved a ship, in turn, the people in the ship saved them, they took them back to Britain.
Until now, we could see Robinson Crusoe was reduced to be a vagrant, but finally he came back to human being. From his life that he escaped from his family to being saved by others, what he faced was almost all difficulty. Through the slight description and discussion, we have been informed that what Robinson Crusoe faced was almost all difficulty and dangers that a common people can hardly deal with, even dare not confront with, but Robinson Crusoe faced them bravely. Just as his words, it is disgusting to cherish the thought of going home to live easy life. He held there was a kind of mysterious force made him go forward, and he attributed all of this to God’s will, he showed his aggressive positive attitude that he did not want to obey the traditional life style, his so-called “mysterious predestination” just reflected spirit condition of denying the bound of modern tradition and demanding the development of primate freedom, his strange thought just reflected his courage and lofty quality of opening up new world, all of which formed his bourgeois positive attitude. From all these above, we could make a conclusion that Robinson Crusoe chose his life, and was responsible for his own choice, he saved himself in the lonely for a long time, and he was successful finally. What I want to say is that, his success was not only due to his survival, but also his unique positive attitude maintained health and integrity and personality, he still had the common sense, which had not been corroded by endless loneliness, in turn, he abstained his fruit that a common can not . We could praise him undoubtedly that he is a hero, a hero not only in his own times, his own country, but also in all human beings. His strong mind, kind heart, aggressive temperament help him achieve the survival of his life, in the above passage, i have analyzed Robinson Crusoe was a person with complex positive attitude, he was weak in the real society, but strong minded in his own choice and he was enough strong to save Friday who finally helped him escaped from that isolated island. The adventure story tells us, as a human being, we’d better live according to our own will, whatever disasters we will meet, and the most important point is we must form a good positive attitude that can be responsible for the life we have chosen. It is important to have a positive attitude of strong minded, bi bravely to face our life. Just as Shakespeare’s motto in Cymbeline: “trouble is the mother of strong for ever”.
4.1 The positive attitude towards life makes life happy
Compared to those whose attitude towards life is positive in doing their business, study, treating others and dealing with matters in their daily life, and they may enjoy the different enjoyment. After you experience much trials and hard practice in your life, and if you are a positive man, have a strong mind, and kind and gentle, you will have the chance to enjoy the feeling that you were really success .and to gain a kind of success.“It is said that God is fair, and everyone is the apple that has been bitted by God”. Actually, this theory is easy to be understood by anyone. But in our real life many people can not accepted their own flaw and the defective world, and they complain all days instead of doing some useful things to make up for their shortcoming, they can not be saved, God has deserted them. While, there are still a group of people with strong mind just like Robinson Crusoe, they never give up when they are in trouble, even in despair condition. This kind of people is the real hero of our society; we should learn their optimism and entrepreneurial spirit.
4.2. Optimistic and entrepreneurial spirit for us youth
In our modern society, people live in a world that contains fierce competition; most people live with great pressure. There is an American journalist interviewed the great banker：“ what is the most important element of your success?” He answered without any hesitation: “optimistic and entrepreneurial spirit”, a series of questions following: what is attitude? What kind of positive attitude is good for success in such a society? Especially for us youth, the society is a big stove will mill us to bia diversity positive attitude commanded one.
4.3. Keeping a optimistic attitude is more important than the intelligence
Psychologists found that improper positive attitude is an important factor leading to be suffered and failure, such as sensitive, stubborn, unconfident, self-center, irritable, and pay excessive attention to other’s evaluation. In fact, the development of
healthy and integrated positive attitude is more important than the intelligence, just like ability can be formed gradually, but habit need our continuing trait. any successful companies focus on “The conception of temperament is wider than human nature and personality” it has not only informed factor, but also a social factor, we can list a series of advantage of positive attitude, also can arrange disadvantage, they just like the two sides of a coin, they depend on each other, and react on each other. The effective step is: to see clearly your own strong points, and know your shortage, only treating yourself well, improving yourself can go your wanted ,and go forward firmly. “The strong point is usually the resource of shortage, advantage usually exposes on the biggest disadvantage.”
Eventually, his appropriate and positive attitude towards life has really set a milestone on my academic career during my school years, as well as my further development. Consequently I am benefit from these experiences I acquired from him, and with a strong desire for him that he will have a better future.
We can see the frontal and the contrary sides of people’s attitude towards frustrations and difficulties from the above introduction; we can also know the importance of our temperament in our daily lives and the competition. A good state of mind is definitely like a solid foundation, which will bring us long-term “profit”. A frontal optimistic spirit could help us live easily in the world, while a contrary one just could increase our burden. Robinson Crusoe saved himself by holding a optimistic attitude and working hard on the isolated island positively and did not design to the difficulties. So he lived a happy life after he was saved, he was the winner of his fate; his attitude decided his finally fate. A wise person should master the theory well, and can be the winner of life, but some stupid men can not understand it, and can not command it well, such people only can be the victim of the world. They can not catch up with others; accordingly, they can not be admitted by people in the world. The popular people in the 21st are those who can master their positive attitude towards life .As regarded that a person with optimistic and entrepreneurial spirit towards life in nowadays ,especially for the new generation, valuable and important was reflected and needed.
It is my pleasure to take this opportunity to thank my tutor—Dongjiangshan, who offered me academic and constructive advice on composing this paper. His patience and help are worthy of high respect. At the same time, I also would like to thank friends, who offered me some material to write my paper. And I want to take this opportunity to thank all teachers for their hard work and constructive advice.
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