A List of Outstanding Robinson Crusoe Term Paper Topics

Daniel Defoe’s famous adventure novel, Robinson Crusoe, was first published in the early 18th century and remains a popular work for study in high schools around the world. Generally, there are a number of excellent term paper topics that students become excited to write about, but here is a list of some really outstanding ones to consider:

  1. Crusoe is not one to express any sort of regret for not having a family. Instead he is happy that his animals (goats and cats) grow in size and often refers to them as his family. Does this odd behavior tell us about Crusoe’s view on life or the novel as whole?
  2. What do you make of Crusoe being saddened at the fact that his dog never has a mate, despite Crusoe himself never reproducing or having a mate of his own? What do you think Defoe is trying to suggest by this?
  3. Crusoe has a vision of an angel descending in a ball of flame and repents his sins shortly afterwards. Do you find this to be sincere or are there clues of Crusoe only wanting to avoid death because of his fear of it?
  4. Many have suggested that Crusoe does not undergo a change in character in the novel, and is essentially the same person at the end as he was at the beginning. Despite so much that goes on in the novel, do you think this suggestion is true?
  5. Crusoe claims he allows religious freedom on the island, but he tries to rid Friday, his servant, of his pagan beliefs. Why does he first call Friday a Protestant and try to convert him to that religion, when in all other instances he seems tolerant of others’ beliefs?
  6. We almost reach the end of the novel before an instance of entertainment is shown – the case in which Friday turns the bear into a spectacle that makes Crusoe’s traveling party laugh in merriment. What is Defoe’s intent with this scene?
  7. Crusoe exhibits very little reference to or appreciation of beauty throughout the book. This seems to be of little interest to him. What function does this serve in the novel? Or is it merely a detail that Defoe did not want to include?
  8. Crusoe devotes a lot of time figuring out ways to escape the island. But the moment he does finally escape and returns to Europe the journey seems uninteresting. What does Defoe try to say about the joys of exoticism?

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