comparative any two ideas between Annie John and Robinson Crusoe

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Annie John, the narrator and central character in the novel, is a young girl growing on the Caribbean island of Antigua and living with her father and mother. She is extremely attached to her mother and this is attributed to her strong and profound relationship with her mother especially in the early stage of her life (Weidemann 1). In her life, she meets different people and classmates, among them are Gwen and the Red Girl, who inspired her to have a happy-go-lucky life. Annie finally leaves her family to study abroad majoring in nursing in England. On the other hand, Robinson is an independent and ambitious boy who has well-articulated goals. He is very conscious of his actions. Both are central characters in their stories and share a common area that is related to England. Robinson hails from a wealthy family in England while Annie decides to study nursing in England alone from her family. Nevertheless, several differences are notable in terms of their problem-solving skills, personality and family background.

The first notable feature in both characters is a maturity and problem-solving skills. Robinson is known for his perseverance. He never gives up even in hard times when he is stranded on an island. He has shown his remarkable skills in building his own shelter and many other things for “daily use” that increases his fortune. His resilient survival spirit keeps him alive for a very long time. This aspiration of Crusoe was even commended by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his book, Emile. He even recommends that children adopt Crusoe’s approaches in dealing with their troubles. The twenty-eight-year absence does not deter him from success in Brazil. On the other hand, Annie always did something “special” to arouse her mother’s attention and spent all her time with her when she was still a child.

When Annie is sent to school, she performs remarkably in order to become the brightest student in class. Even her essay was praised on her first day. Her success can be attributed to the aptitude of adhering to the orders of the colony. Despite the young age of the character, their maturity and problem-solving skills are distinct. Perhaps Annie could have a formal mother-daughter talk as this might be a mature and peaceful way to express her love and feelings to her mother.

Secondly, the relationship between Annie and her mother can be compared to that between Robinson and Friday, a prisoner he saved from the island. The relationship between Robinson and Friday begins when Robinson saves Friday’s life. This makes Friday appreciate and admire him. However, Robinson is obnoxious and considers himself a king when he teaches Friday to call him ‘master’ even before he can teach him how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in English. At first, Friday is Robinson’s listener and mimics him in every aspect but with time, Friday gets used to him, and their interaction grows more casual. What starts as a simple friendship ends up as a stronger family-like relationship.

In Annie’s story, initially, Annie and her mother share a strong bond of love. Generally during summer vacation, they are always together spending almost all activities with each other. Her mother lets her sleep in her room and there are also occasions wherein they bathe together on a tub with herbs and spices that the local healer had recommended (Weidemann 2). Unfortunately, this relationship they begin to brake apart when Annie finds her parents making love. She feels rejected because she is not part of the union and becomes angry at her mother for neglecting their special relationship. The anger eventually ripens into hatred when her mother tricks her into eating breadfruit, a meal she loathed, by making it look like bread. The huge strain in their relationship makes her opt to stay silent leading to her ailment.

Crusoe’s and John’s inability of dealing with their deep feelings are comparable. When Crusoe has to leave his family, he does not show It, but worries of the religious consequences of disobeying his father(Defoe et al. 2008). He is philanthropic when he awards gifts to his siblings and the captain of the ship, but  does not reveal affection in dealing with them. He also says that he got married and that his wife died with much indifference. Crusoe is obsessed with dating irrelevant events like when he states the date in which he grinds his tools but forgets to say when he met Friday (Hassan 12). As for Annie, she tries to use her relationship with Gwen to soothe her grief of being neglected by her mother though it does not work. She is depressed, feels isolated and finds Gwen to be a dull friend. She suffers a mental breakdown and is bedridden. Her state resembles an infant; wherein she urinates in bed and is inable to eat by herself.

Finally, both Annie’s and Robinson’s liberty of expression are similar. Both do not hesitate to presuppose personalities that are appropriate for them. When Annie joins the school, she believes that obeying the colonial orders is the most righteous way to live and by obeying she tops in her class (Weidemann 2). When Annie meets a Red Girl from the lower class who lived a trouble-free life, Annie admires her and imitates the life of the Red Girl by playing marbles and by initiating a pattern of petty theft as well as entertaining other girls with her dirty songs.

Towards the end of the book, she carries herself with a sense of arrogance when she thinks that some people such as Gwen lack the determination, yet they have to bear with them for it is the only means of thriving with the colonial surroundings. Robinson, on the other hand, is never interested in glorifying himself as a king (Hassan 16). He thinks about himself as any other ordinary sensible man and not a hero. He believes in resourcefulness by making his own ‘empire’ out of almost nothing (Hassan 14). What is more, this liberty of expression of both characters makes them have impressive complex personalities.

In conclusion, both novels are based on different settings such as the nationality and year. One dates back to the 16-17 century in England while the other is located in Jamaica in 1980. This necessary information can be a factor in describing the traits of the main characters in the story. During the early times in England, the practice of colonialism is emphasized in the initial terms of Robinson requests Friday to call him master and also during the recent past in Annie’s school. This harmonizes both different worlds which can eventually affect even the situations in the present times.

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Works Cited

Hassan, Nawal Muhammad. Hayy bin Yaqzan and Robinson Crusoe: A study of an early Arabic impact on English literature, Al-Rashid House for Publication. 1980. 12-38.

Weidemann, Barabra. "Work Analysis." Masterplots II: Juvenile& Young Adult Literature Series Supplement 12.4 (1997): 1-2. Print.

June 15, 2022
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