Daniel Defoe

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  • Topic: Novel, Daniel Defoe, Writing
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  • Published : January 30, 2013
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Through the struggles of growing up, Daniel Defoe had many influences that changed the style of writing which ultimately made him an important figure in many people’s lives. His creative and indecisive style of writing changed the style of writing and some people’s ways of thinking. Defoe thought in a way that made him look in the future and not just what is happening at present. He had his fair share of up and downs. Jail was his home for many years. It gave him a view on life that not every person sees, nor probably should. The many works of literature he produced prove his dedication to his writings. And that’s showed by how much he wrote, and not just any writings, but extravagant and meaningful ones. People did not give him a chance to prove who he was. Daniel Defoe knew he was a good writer and these setbacks did not stop him from producing some of the most amazing works of literature. Daniel Defoe’s tough childhood gave him many influences for his writings, he took those influences and changed the style of writing in his time, and when he put everything together he became that important person we know him as today.

Daniel Defoe was born in 1660 to an English trader. Though his real name was Daniel Foe, he decided to add the “De” to the front of it. He thought it made him manlier and professional.
He was not even five years old when he survived the Bubonic Plague that killed thousands and thousands of people throughout England. Not even three years later, he survived the “Great Fire” that burned down every house but his and just a few other homes standing. Defoe’s childhood was rough and to make it even more despairing, his mother, Anna, died when he was not even to the age of 10. As Defoe said:

“As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares.” (“Daniel Defoe” Biography.com)

He points out that evil poses something while poverty can put people in traps.
Many of his writings we know of today are similar to his real life encounters with terrifying obstacles. Not much is known about Defoe in his teen years, but many people think he started his writing career early then.

He is credited with creating a new form of writing. It’s simply what we call today a “Novel”. Many people did not appreciate how spectacular this form of writing really was. Daniel Defoe’s most Famous book was Robinson Crusoe. It talked about surviving an island for twenty-eight years before the person was rescued. Similar to Defoe’s life in a way. He was lost and did not know where to go.

“Necessity makes an honest man a knave.” (Daniel Defoe, Bloom)
He declared bankruptcy because he lost his ship insurance caused by the War with France. Daniel was out of his job of fishing and still had to make money. In the next ten years he pays off all but three thousand seven hundred pounds. He never got out of debt. Defoe was also a bad guy. Arrested multiple times by Harley’s enemies for publishing ironical tracks in supports of Hanoverian succession.

In 1703, he was arrested for publishing The Shortest Way With the Dissenters. He was tried and sentenced to stand pillory for three days. All this time in jail, Daniel Defoe still had been writing. Its said that he would have to have written almost every day of his life for him to have produced as much as he did. After producing five hundred works of literature and living seventy years, its clear that he did love to write.

His many Novels and works of literature were of past experiences. Many modern scholars have been influenced and call him a historian, but people of his time, did not yet but yet his historical writings deserved more attention. He also wrote on many various topics. Defoe's interests and activities reflect the major social, political, economic, and literary trends of his age.

In 1731, he would die of “lethargy” in Ropemakers Ally. He was buried in Bunhill Fields along with John Bunyan and other puritans to hide...
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