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As the sole survivor of a shipwreck, an Englishman lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.
A labored retelling of the classic survival tale in graphic format, heavily glossed and capped with multiple value-added mini-essays.
Along with capturing neither the original's melodrama nor the stranded Crusoe's MacGyver-esque ingenuity in making do, Graham's version quickly waxes tedious thanks to forced inclusion of minor details and paraphrased rather than directly quoted dialogue in an artificially antiquated style ("You Friday. Me Master"). Frequent superscript numbers lead to often-superfluous footnotes: "Crusoe, a European, assumes that he is superior to other races. This attitude was usual at the time when the story was written." Shoehorned into monotonous rows of small panels, the art battles for real estate with both dialogue balloons and boxed present-tense descriptions of what's going on (the pictures themselves being rarely self-explanatory). Seven pages of closing matter cover topics from Defoe's checkered career to stage and film versions of his masterpiece—and even feature an index for the convenience of assignment-driven readers.
At best, a poor substitute for Cliffs Notes and like slacker fare.(Graphic novel. 11-14)
|1.||The Family Left Behind||7|
|2.||First Adventures at Sea||11|
|3.||In and Out of Slavery||17|
|4.||From Brazil to a Shipwreck||23|
|5.||Looting the Wrecked Ship||31|
|6.||Making a Home||39|
|8.||Diary of a Castaway||47|
|9.||A Turning Point||57|
|11.||Exploring the Island||75|
|12.||A New Pet||79|
|16.||A Dairy Farm||105|
|19.||A Secret Cave||121|
|24.||Arrival of Savages||151|
1. Robinson Crusoe is regarded as one of the first English novels. What were the qualities that defined the English novel? How has the meaning of the word "novel" changed? Do we use the term more loosely now or has it evolved into something entirely different?
2. Defoe's novel is also thought to be one of the earliest examples of the use of psychological realism. Defoe posits himself as "editor" and Crusoe as the author. How does his use of voice and point of view differ from that of his contemporaries? How much of his fiction might be influenced by his background in journalism and nonfiction?
3. How much of Robinson Crusoe is supposed to be "real" and journalistic and how much is intended to be allegorical? How does Defoe use Crusoe to espouse certain values? In what sense is the book a morality story?
4. Examine Crusoe's relationships with Xury and Friday. Critics have seen Robinson Crusoe as representative of British colonialism and imperialism, glorifying the subjugation of other cultures. How does Defoe seem to comment on the institution of slavery and issues of race?
5. How do Robinson Crusoe's experiences on the island comment on the society from which he has been separated?
6. How does what we now call the Protestant work ethic pervade Defoe's novel? Robinson seems to channel all of his energy into the pursuit of manual labor; the story is a series of daily routines and a tribute to work. To what end? Is his newfound work ethic accompanied by a spiritual awakening?
7. How is value established on Crusoe's island? How does the language of economics inform the text?
8. What is the nature of RobinsonCrusoe's relationship with his environment? Does he regard his surroundings as hostile? Does he seek to re-create the landscape?