By Leon Guilhamet
His learn locations Defoe's significant fiction squarely within the rising Whig tradition of the early eighteenth century. It deals an alternative choice to the view that Defoe is largely a author of felony or experience fiction and to the Marxist judgment that he extols individualism or derives his maximum suggestion from renowned print tradition. This learn reads the novels as reflections of mainstream Whig social and political issues, a similar issues Defoe published in his verse and expository writings ahead of and after his significant interval of fiction writing, 1719-24.
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Extra info for Defoe and the Whig Novel: A Reading of the Major Fiction
There is something very wrong here, and the abandoned traderearly may be at the heart o:fit. rnl- 3: CAPTIVITY AND DELIVERANCE AS WHIG MYTH 75 ified. 20 But he does not rule out remaining in trade if the tradesman might "have a large Family to provide for, Children to breed up in the Business, and to carry it on after him; Daughters to marry, a:nd to whom it is his Interest to bring their Husbands into Part of his Business ... " (vol. 2, pt. 1, 160). Now Robinson's father has only sons, but it is clear he has failed to bring any of them into the business, though he has done his best to persuade Robinson to choose the middle life.
30 That such honesty can exist, even between persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds, underscores Defoe's faith in international commerce and cooperation. It may also be regarded as an aspect of Whig optimism, which tended to place great confidence in the potential goodness of human nature. Indeed Defoe's business ethic, which seems to transcend national and ethnic ties, presumes an internationalism that lifts his vision above religious and ethnic intolerance. But despite Robinson's good fortune and prosperity, a danger is revealed.
Shipping and the personal safety of travelers. William D' Avenant's opera, The Siege of Rhodes, dramatized the captivity theme in the story of lanthe, a Christian captive held by Solyma:n the Magnificent. Eighty years later, Samuel Johnson's play Irene presented the same kind of captive situation, but one with tragic consequences, since Irene chooses to remain a captive, believing she will become Mahomet's queen. By refusing deliverance, Irene renounces both her religion and country. She consequently deserves the betrayal and death sentence she ultimately receives.
Defoe and the Whig Novel: A Reading of the Major Fiction by Leon Guilhamet