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Survival Essay

survival essay

Example #1

Jack London s literary tactics as well as style, helped to define the key theme in The Sea Wolf of being a well-balanced individual capable of survival under any circumstances. By placing Maud Brewster in the position to fall in love with Van Weydon, London stressed the need for the genuinely important love between a man and a woman.

In presenting the mind as a mightier force than sheer and brute strength, London displayed the capacity to which a sound mind fulfills. Humprey s adaptation and evolution, for the better, represented the fundamental message London sought to deliver through his writing. As though contesting that two heads are better than one, London deemed it necessary to emphasize the significance of the love a woman.

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London used Maud to help to contribute to the well-rounded individual he sought to create through Humprey. Her love, if not the catalyst, served to strengthen the evolution of Hump into a man more capable of withstanding the trials of life. They were able to feed off each other and attain a greater sense of boldness, as well as a broadened perspective on life:

… and at the same moment, my heart surged with great joy. Truly she was my woman, my mate-woman, fighting with me and for me as the mate of a caveman would have fought, all the primitive in her aroused,

forgetful of her culture, hard under the softening civilization of the only life she had ever known (London, 234).

The bond between Humprey and Maud had cultured into love, which caused their individual status to be elevated as well. Filled with a new assurance, passion, and primitive nature, the two were able to stride toward their place as complete and noteworthy human beings. In his next step toward displaying the model creature, London addressed the value of the mind as the top priority.

In presenting Wolf and Humprey, with regards to their respective highlights, London defined knowledge as the most powerful attribute toward any kind of successful human being. It was in fact Humprey, the intellectual, who in the end succeeded in conquering over the physical power as well as the terror of Larsen. By taking knowledge and using it as power, Humprey was able to supersede the striking brutality Wolf presented;

You forget you are no longer the biggest bit of the ferment. You were, once, and able to eat me, as you were pleased to phrase it; but there has been a diminishing, and I am now able to eat you. The yeast has grown stale (220).

Wolf’s power had been depleted, and he was no longer able to use it to rise above others. The human mind, however, Humprey s, was still growing strong, fully capable of survival, but also a success. It was that power of the mind that enabled Humprey to adapt and acquire skill in new fields, that led to his perfectly embodied life.

From a worthless gentleman to an eventually successful man, Humprey was sculpted in a way that ensured both his survival, but also his power and potential, due to his unlocking of gifts. Although born into a cultured and wealthy family, Humprey s primitive nature was forced to be unleashed if he hoped to live. By becoming a more primal man while maintaining his sense of mind, Van Weyden achieved a culmination to be exemplified. A feat which was shown through London s powerful and triumphant presentation;

It can be done, it can be done, I was thinking and asserting aloud. What men have done, I can do; and if they have never done this before, still I can do it. (188)

The level of assertion as well as confidence portrayed by Humprey greatly reflects on the message London sought to deliver. Van Weyden was shown completely satisfied with his own ability, which due to his complete pooling of talents, was applicable. He had risen above the rest and applied himself in order to fulfill the requirements for survival. Humprey had become the perfectly shaped individual, destined to prosper in this life.

A gripping tale, The Sea Wolf ends in the inevitable triumph of Humprey Van Weydon over Wolf Larsen, making him the leader of the pack. The extent to which London elevated Humprey s status, undoubtedly assured the reader of the admiration with which he portrayed him.

Throughout the novel, it became apparent of the necessity of freedom in order for a man to achieve their full potential, which is what Humprey did. By becoming as well-rounded as he did, he was able to emerge as the victor in the so-called survival of the fittest, which indeed he was.


Example #2

Extreme environments are places where “normal” life finds it hard or impossible to survive. To survive in an extreme environment you need intelligence and the will to survive. In “The Story of Keesh” by Jack London Keesh kills polar bears to survive because he gets little food from the tribe.

He does this by using his brains instead of brute force. In the “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, Pi uses his brains to access food and water. In these two stories, Pi and Keesh both use survival skills to survive in their extreme environments.

In “The Story of Keesh” by Jack London Keesh uses whalebone covered in meat to injure the polar bears that he hunts and then he would finish the polar bear with his spear. For example, in paragraph 65 the author states “ The bear swallows the round ball, the blubber melts, the bear gets sick, and when the bear is very sick, why, you kill him with a spear.

This shows how Keesh uses “head craft” rather than his strength to kill the polar bear.

This relates to extreme environments because Keesh uses his own intelligence and survival skills to gain meat and survive in his extreme environment. In the “Life of Pi,” Pi uses his brain to find water and food without getting attacked by Richard Parker. Pi also uses his brains to open the of water he found when there wasn’t a can opener so instead, he used the tarpaulin hooks that were on the boat.

For example, in paragraph 38 the author states “I had a can—surely I had a can opener? I looked in the locker. There was a great number of things. I rummaged about. I was losing patience.” Then he thought of the idea of using the tarpaulin hooks. If he had not thought of doing this he would have died of thirst because he would not have thought of a way to open the can.

After Pi had become “drunk on water” he decided that he was hungry so he got a carton of food to eat. Not only did Pi survive because of his quick thinking but he also survived because the tiger “Richard Parker” gave him the will to survive.

For example, in paragraph 49 the author states “He pushes me to go on living… It’s the plain truth: without Richard Parker, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell you my story. In conclusion, intelligence and the will to survive is important for you to survive in an extreme environment.

In “The Story of Keesh” Keesh shows intelligence and resourcefulness by using head craft to kill the polar bear instead of brute force. In “The Life of Pi” Pi shows intelligence by opening the can of water with the tarpaulin hooks and he also shows the will to survive by saying that Richard Parker wiled him to live, that he forced Pi to live on and not give up. So in an extreme environment intelligence and the will to survive is important for your survival in an extreme environment.


Example #3

One motivating idea in ‘The Appetite Games’ by Suzanne Collins is survival through difficulty. In the unique, this concept is shown when Katniss endures the Cravings Games. It is inspiring since we discover that, even though there may be obstacles in our method, if we overcome hardships greatness can follow.

The idea of enduring through difficulty is revealed throughout Katniss’s life in the novel. She resides in the Seam, the poorest location of her district, and given that her dad died at an early age, has actually been struggling to attend to her mom and more youthful sibling.

After barely enduring her childhood, Katniss takes part in The Cravings Games, an annual event that involves twenty 4 individuals who kill each other up until there is a sole victor- she survives the ordeal. During the Games, Katniss states to her new ally “I’m going to win for both people now”. By telling Rue this, it reveals not only Rue but likewise the readers that there can be hope despite the fact that there seem to be hardships on the horizon.

I believe that Katniss’ mindset and success revealed when she gets rid of the Games motivates strength and perseverance, inspiring the reader so they can see that even when times are hard, there is a method through it all.

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Collins wished to teach us that it is possible to overcome such hardships if we hang on to hope and try our best to survive the events we are confronted with. In Nazi Germany, among the loss, there was survival and freedom that concerned some, such as the households that handled to leave or avoid Hitler’s prisoner-of-war camp. These individuals, like Katniss Everdeen, conquered their difficulties and brought hope to themselves and other individuals. This idea from the text influences the readers because we desire ‘proof’ that it is possible to get through hardships, and Collins offers it to us.

In ‘The Hunger Games’, the idea of survival through hardship is inspiring because, in our world, many events and people can get in the way of success. Many times throughout the novel, the odds seem to be against Katniss, especially during the Games- she is in an arena with bloodthirsty adolescents, traps, and Game Makers who promote and encourage violence.

Before she enters the arena, she muses – “A desert, a swamp, a frigid wasteland..” Katniss is showing us what she is afraid of, what she thinks the coming events might involve – of course, it would be harder to survive in a desert than an arena with plentiful food and water. However, the arena turns out to be a forest, which I think gives Katniss hope because of her familiarity with the woods. She has been in forests often throughout her life so she is more comfortable in the arena, which gives her an advantage over the other tributes.

When obstacles like this appear to us, generally we push ourselves harder to overcome the challenge, especially if our prior knowledge can give us a ‘head start’. Collins wants us to see Katniss as a hero once we see her hardship. She helps us into that mindset by inserting various references from Ancient Rome and the gladiators- when they won and became victors, they were seen as true heroes.

Suzanne Collins wants us to think about Katniss like that because she shows us the importance of overcoming fears and obstacles to survive. This is just one way to inspire us to get past our hardships- we will work harder to achieve and succeed because Katniss shows us it is possible.

In the novel, we also see that by overcoming hardships, we can be lead to greatness and success. By surviving the Games, Katniss shows us that one person alone can make a difference, even if it’s only by planting an idea in someone’s mind. She gives the districts – the poorer ones in particular- hope and happiness, and subconsciously shows them the confidence that rebellion can bring.

When Katniss meets her mentor, he says “Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?” Later in the novel, we see that he did get a ‘pair of fighters’, which led him, and District Twelve, to greatness- Katniss and Peeta fought so hard to survive, they succeeded and became heroes throughout the districts.

I believe the more hardships we are faced with, the stronger we become, but it also comes down to your reaction to the obstacles. In comparison to Haymitch, who resorted to alcohol after his trauma- or perhaps Mrs. Everdeen who went into a silent depression after the death of her husband, Katniss seems strong because she faces her troubles and fears with bravery, simply ignoring her doubts and tries until she succeeds.

This makes us want to respect her and look up to her as a character. Collins gave Katniss a history of hardship to make her more likable and respectable as a character, and also to relate her to other great historical figures.

Nelson Mandela, for example, was faced with racial prejudice, but overcame those issues and soon brought faith and hope to many around the globe through his actions in South Africa. Showing us the greatness that survival can bring encourages us to be better people, and to inspire not only ourselves but for other people too.

In ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins, survival through hardship is an inspiring idea because it teaches us that even though people or events may try to get in our way, even though there may be no hope, success is always possible. We can always overcome the hardships we encounter and most of the time, our success will lead to greatness, happiness, and hope.


Example #4 – Survival Lottery Essay

In his article “The Survival Lottery,” Harris suggests a situation where a possible course of action would be to kill a healthy person and use his organs for transplantation, thereby saving several lives at the cost of one.

However, the argument Harris presents, which he claims to be rational, does intuitively raise a certain moral repugnance. The issues addressed such as whether letting die is equivalent to killing, or is killing the innocent ever justified, are controversial in themselves, and Harris’s views have been roundly criticized. This essay will examine the main issues raised by the survival lottery and attempt to prove Harris’s claim that it would be a rational thing to do is in fact wrong. I will not do this by appealing to some objective moral standard, such as we have a duty to never kill the innocent, as this will inevitably lead to deadlock and lower the debate to a matter of your own personal opinion.

Instead, I will argue that a Reductio ad Absurdum can be leveled against Harris’s argument because of the untenable consequences it would lead to. By revealing the weakness of the argument for the lottery we can show why it shouldn?t take place without being drawn into a conflict between consequentialist and objectivist based ethical theories, Harris’s argument is based on the “maximizing lives” theory, as he believes there is value in numbers and that two lives are twice as valuable as one.

From this premise, he gives the example in the survival lottery of two patients Mr. Y and Mr. Z who are certain to die unless they get organ transplants, but no spare organs are to be found. They both suggest that a healthy person, (Mr. A) be seized, killed painlessly, and his organs be used for the transplantation.

They argue that this is the rational and morally correct thing to do, to not do so would be sacrificing two lives to save one. It is the right course of action since it maximizes the number of lives saved albeit at the cost of a healthy and innocent person.

To combat the fear, worry and possible abuse by doctors who should be seized and “disorganized” Mr. Y and Z suggest a lottery as a fair way of determining who should be the donor. Mr. Y and Z do have a strong case, they can argue that they are just as innocent as Mr. A, as it’s not their fault they need organ transplants.

For the doctors to refuse to treat them is in effect discriminating against sick people. When we try to point out to them that doctors have a duty not to kill anyone, Mr. Y and Z could claim that this is begging the question as the doctors through there inaction will be killing both of them.

Perhaps this is where we can attack Harris, he equates killing with letting die for as a consequentialist it does not matter to him how the deaths come about, merely the fact that they have occurred is what?s important.

However we could argue that by killing Mr. A we will have performed an ACTION, it will have been a man-made death. On the other hand if we “kill” Mr. Y and Z we will have let nature take its course, no action has been done by an agent, and can we be held responsible for things we don’t do? We could use the example of starving children in Africa if we don’t always send aid to them are we responsible for killing them?

However this does not settle the question, we have merely provided an alternative viewpoint and on what basis can we say this is more morally correct than Harris?s view? Maclean tries to sidestep this deadlock by arguing that the killing of Mr. A is not a moral question at all, in fact, its “morally impossible.” Harris assumes that the organs for Mr. Y and Z are available albeit at the death of an innocent person.

Maclean states that although the organs are physically available, they are not morally available and if this is the case there should be no question of killing Mr. A. By denying the availability of organs we can then say the doctors have no course of action to take, Mr. Y and Z cannot be saved and the question of whether letting them die is tantamount to killing them does not even arise.

However, I don’t believe this has resolved the conflict as it has simply provided another view of the value of human life. Maclean accuses Harris of operating a “metaphysical notion of value whereon lives are rated as more or less valuable on some supposedly objective scale of values independently of who values them.” This has the effect of degrading human beings to nothing more than expendable “units of organs” and no longer seen as individuals.

Harris of course would disagree saying his view, since it maximizes the number of human lives, it places more value on life. Both views can be rationally justified and the deadlock remains, the question is on what basis can we rule one view to be moral the other immoral? I don’t believe we can, but what we can do is try to show that the rationality behind the argument for one of the views is fallacious and if this is the case we can then reject that view.

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The next part of my Essay will reveal how Harris’s case can be successfully attacked and shown to have absurd consequences without having to appeal to some metaphysical notion of the value of life, or an axiom such as the sanctity of human life, thus breaking the deadlock doing so creates. To establish our Reductio ad Absurdum lets examine the premises Mr. Y and Z’s argument relies on.

Firstly they state that all three people in this situation, themselves and Mr. A are all innocent. This is important as it removes any other consideration on who should be killed other than the basis of numbers, so for the moment we are accepting the maximizing principle so that we can show the absurdity it leads to. Mr. Y and Z than in effect “point a finger” at Mr. A and accuse him of living at the cost of 2 lives.

This is their reason for killing him, the force from which they rationalize their course of action. But the absurdity follows form this, Mr. Y and Z have no basis on which to “point the finger” at Mr. A and level 2 lives against 1 argument against him. Mr. A has every right to refute this by pointing the finger back at either Mr. Y or Z and saying ” you have no right to single me out, for I accept that if you kill me then 2 people will live, but if I were to kill either of you then 2 people will also live. For I will not have to be killed, and whichever one of you I don’t kill, cause we could use the other organs to save him.

Since you claim we are all innocent, and your only argument against me is that killing me will save 2 lives, I have shown that you can?t use this argument against anyone without them reversing it back upon you.” Thus Mr. Y and Z’s argument is defeated their premise that killing 1 person to save 2 still stands, but they cannot use it against a third party such as Mr. A. Another form of this argument can take is that if we accept Mr. Y and Z’s premise that the more lives we save the better, then it would make sense for Mr. A to kill a person. For in doing so he would be saving 3 lives, his own and Mr. Y and Z’s.

But just say this person before being killed by Mr. A, said “hold on a minute, let’s kill this guy here, this way we will save 4 people’s lives, mine, yours Mr. Y and Mr. Z’s. This establishes a regress with each person who’s about to be killed using the same argument, and its difficult to see how to escape from it. In conclusion from these attacks, we can proclaim the argument for the survival lottery as presented by Harris is fallacious and in theory, leads to absurdity. I have chosen not to mention the practical difficulties of the survival lottery such as which groups if any should be excluded from the draw, as I have not needed to.


Example #5 – Surviving High School

Peer pressure? Is it true I will always come home with a blue eye if I won’t obey juniors and seniors? Is it grades, popularity, drugs, or maybe sex I should worry about the most? I heard I will never survive college if I remain to be a virgin throughout my high school years, and I will never be safe in school if I won’t try cigarettes and beer. What will my friends think of me if all I worry about is getting into a decent college?

Funny how some students think isn’t it? But they don’t know that the best part about high school is that whatever you do, you will be respected for it in one or the other way. Being a cheerleader or a captain of a football team doesn’t always make you the most popular kid in school. You don’t have to be a natural athlete to be accepted in high school.

Believe it or not, but the most popular and the most friendly students are those with straight A?s and scientific discoveries performed in their basements- that?s right, the nerds! Even a captain of a football team or the most popular and beautiful cheerleader in school will almost always come and ask the nerd for help with his or her homework. They will never get hurt or beaten up because they are too valuable for those that are not so much academically talented.

If you think you won’t do so well in high school because you’re one of those “weird minorities” – you know; purple hair, pierced nose and eyebrows, and jeans twice as wide as your waist- you’re wrong. There are so many cliques in high school that even if you are a green, four-foot creature from Europa, you will always find a group that will suit you, and you will suit them.

How about that three-letter word that makes everyone so uncomfortable? Ahh sex, that?s right. This is just one of the high school myths that are becoming more false than true. This one is all up to the student. Although what they say about being unsuccessful without it in college is not true. In fact losing, virginity might have a bad impact on your character and self-reliance. I know many people who decided to follow the myth, and now, they wish they could go back into their freshman year and start over.

High school is truly the only place where Darwin’s survival of the fittest does not quite work as well as in nature. The reason for that is because there are no specific traits a person must undergo in order to be favored and thus “survive”. No matter who you are, how you act, how you eat, sleep, walk, or talk; you will fit in. True, sometimes if you’re a freshman coming in for your first year, some big shot senior might make you be his or her slave for a short while. But that doesn’t last long, and later it even ends up being a good thing. You might get to know them a little and who knows, maybe later they will help you get rid of an annoying bully from another school.

If you think you will be picked on in high school because of your “small size” you are most likely an eighth-grader about to become a high school freshman. Just wait until your first year starts and then you will laugh at yourself thinking the size was actually part of the matter. During the vacation time between eighth and ninth grade, many grow so much that they can?t recognize themselves from previous pictures. Besides, many short individuals are quite aggressive and do not need to worry about high school. Size is just as ludicrous predicament as someone?s stealthy character.

There are many ways of being successful in high school. Being a nerd does not mean you will never be popular, and doing what others do not mean you also have to do them. All it means is that those people are a bit different than you are. Remember, the trick to surviving those four years is being who you are, not who you think others want you to be.


Example #6

Charles Darwin gave his theory of evolution by the way or Natural Selection in 1858 as an explanation for adaptation and variation in species and organisms. Natural selection is the differentiation of organisms due to the differences in phenotype. Natural selection acts on the phenotype of an organism. The phenotype is the observable characteristics of a specific organism resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment. The phenotype is determined by an organism’s genotype, which is its genetic make-up and the environment in which the organism lives.

Darwin popularized the term “Natural selection” in his book, On The Origin Of Species. The book was published in 1858. In his book, Darwin writes about the Natural selection that “Changes in the condition of life give a tendency to increased variation.” And also, “Nature, if I may be allowed to personify the natural preservation or survival of the fittest, cares nothing about appearances, except in so far as they are useful to any being.”

An example of this would be a natural camouflage on any being that would help them survive by giving them the ability to hide from predators or alternatively, hide from prey. A variation occurs in all types of organisms. It occurs partly because of random mutations in the DNA of an individual that is then inherited by the offspring of said individual, but it mainly occurs because of adaptation.

Throughout the lives of an organism, its genomes interact with the environment that surrounds them and which they live in that then cause variations in their personality traits which is then inherited by their offspring. A genome is a biology in the cell. In other words, it is the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism. Organisms with certain variations of certain traits may reproduce with other individuals that have less successful traits, therefore, the population evolves. In Darwin’s book, he states that “No country can be named in which all the native inhabitants are now perfectly adapted to each other and to the physical conditions under which they live.”

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Although this was stated is 1858, we can only assume this is still accurate due to the fact global warming is now changing the environments around the world, this statement is still accurate. He also explains that “we see nothing of these slow changes in progress until the hand of time has marked the lapse of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long-past geological ages, that we can only see the forms of life are now different from what they formally were.”

To summarize, the process of Natural selection goes by the following… organisms face a struggle to survive in their environment, only the stronger ones of the species reproduce, the result of this is genetic change gradually over the course of many, many generations, then the species is fully adapted or better suited to their environment.


Example #7 – Survival in Auschwitz

“Imagine now a man who is deprived of everyone he loves, and at the same time of his house, his habits, his clothes, in short, of everything he possesses: he will be a hollow man, reduced to suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint, for he who loses all often easily loses himself.”

This short quote is taken from Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz”. It depicts a true story of Primo Levi during the Holocaust, who was relocated to an extermination camp after beginning a great life after college. Primo was captured with a resistant group from Italy. He used his college education and a degree in chemistry to stay alive.

The above quote brings a similar quote to mind. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul”. That quote is taken from the front wall of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia, Minnesota. It gives an idea about our savior Jesus Christ’s life. He spent his whole life teaching the word of God and humanity to all people of any race or religion. These two, Primo Levi and Jesus Christ, lived similar lives.

Primo lived growing up as a Jewish citizen during the bad economic times of Europe. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party blamed this economic tragedy on Jewish society. Primo tried to fight against this, but like most Jews was found guilty and taken to conservation camps. Here he was giving the chance of what he learned in life to stay alive and to see himself leave the hellish camp.

During his time in Auschwitz, he was deprived of everything from his clothes to even his name. After the liberation of Auschwitz, Primo again had nothing. Necessities and goods were furnished throughout his life and now Primo had to start all over. He had nothing except for life, something most people who walked through the front gates of Auschwitz lost.

Jesus Christ lived a similar life many, many years before. He lived his young adult life teaching the people of the world about God and humanity. He cherished his life and the life of others. He respected all living things and tried to help them live a non-sinful life. He too was deprived of things near the end of his life. Like Primo, Jesus was convicted of what he thought and spoke of and was killed.

The main difference between the two men is that Jesus lost his life. Jesus though had a second chance as he was later resurrected from hell and brought into heaven. There he again helped the people of the world.

Furthermore, both of these men were convicted of religious beliefs and ripped away from their lives. Even though Primo died many years after his stay at Auschwitz, he was never the same before that. “He will be a man whose life and death can be lightly decided with no sense of human affinity, in the most fortunate of cases, on the basis of a pure judgment of utility. It is in the way that one can understand the double sense of the term, extermination camp, and it is now clear what we seek to express with the phrase: to live on the bottom.


Example #8 – Survival In Solitude

After being stranded on an uninhabited island, Robinson Crusoe manages to discover his natural abilities that serve as indicators of his true character. At first glance the common adage, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions,” appears to account for the character of Robinson Crusoe; however, further analysis suggests that the intelligence, industriousness, and optimism are inherent to Crusoe’s personality.

Sir Francis Bacon so aptly stated, “Prosperity doth best discover vice; but adversity doth best discover virtue.” From the moment that Crusoe was stranded on the island until the day he was rescued he exhibits these qualities.

Crusoe’s innate intelligence serves him well throughout his solitary life on the island. After agonizing over his plight, he consoles himself and collects himself in order to move on. His shrewdness and practicality help him to overcome the obstacles that the island presents. He has enough forethought to recognize that the ship might be swept away by the tides, and he works continuously in order to salvage everything he can from the ship.

He loses no time to make a trip to the ship in order to unload the cargo, and when he is in need of a method to transport the cargo to the beach, he constructs a raft that will do the job. He protects the provisions from weather and potential wild beasts.

Crusoe is intelligent and understands that by being alone he might go crazy, and to combat this he keeps himself busy for the years he is stranded on the island. Crusoe’s intrinsic sense of knowledge is supported by the ease with which he constructs things he needs although he has never used a tool in his life. As he puts it in his journal:

I had never handled a tool in my life, and yet in time, by labor, application, and contrivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made it, especially if I had tools… (488)

Through his narration, it is evident that this inherent intelligence allows him to adapt to his long and lonely life on the island. The format of the novel itself, that of a journal, indicates that Crusoe is highly educated so that he is able to write and express his thoughts clearly.

Furthermore, Crusoe’s hard-working nature forces him to do more than what is strictly necessary in order to sustain himself. When unloading the cargo off the ship, he works endlessly until the task is completed although he could have taken a lighter approach to the job. Rather than being complacent about his comforts Crusoe was industrious and salvages all that he could from the ship.

He labors hard to bring all the steel cables, tools, and any munitions that he could find, even though he may not need some of the items immediately. Crusoe also gathers on his twelfth and last trip little knickknacks like coins and razor blades. When he begins using the cave as his shelter, he works hard in order to create shelves so that he can organize his belongings.

He fashions himself with a goatskin jacket, skirts, cap, footwear, and pouches for his weaponry. If he is not inherently industrious he would not exert himself to this degree in order to keep himself busy and comfortable.

Crusoe’s optimism and motivation are more than one can expect from a person marooned on an island for so many years. There is ample evidence of his optimism in his diary in which he contrasts good against evil, and ultimately views things in a more positive light. A brief excerpt from his diary is:


I am cast upon a horrible desolate island, void of all hope of recovery.

I have not clothes to cover me.


But I am alive, and not drowned as all my ship’s company was.

But I am in a hot climate, where if I had clothes I could hardly were them.


He overcomes the despair and disappointment he feels after staring at the horizon for a ship to pass by motivating himself to improve his habitat. He also makes a chair and a table to enjoy the few comforts that he does have. Although Crusoe suffers these and many other hardships, he manages to find a positive view of his solitary life

What sustained Crusoe during his twenty-seven-year struggle was his religious views and philosophical thinking. He possesses many other qualities like compassion and courage; however, they are not essential to the fiber of his character.

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