Robinson Crusoe: the Lost Years

Topics: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robinson Crusoe, State of nature Pages: 8 (2983 words) Published: December 11, 2012
Robinson Crusoe: The Lost Years
The Preface
Robinson Crusoe was made famous for the twenty-eight years he survived on an uninhabited island. There are no other written accounts of how he managed to survive apart from a journal he kept to track his progress, struggles, and eventual success- until now.

Recently a team of anthropologists uncovered a hidden door in the back of the overgrown cave that they believe was Robinson’s primary residence. Beneath the trap door, among grain and some rudimentary tools, there was a copy of Rousseau’s Political Writings and a second journal that picks up where the published journal belonging to Robinson Crusoe left off. The published journal is missing years of Robinson’s contemplation, before picking back up towards the end of his stay on the island. We believe this uncovered journal helps to fill in the gaps.

The editors hope this work will be seen as complimentary to the existing published journal, finding that it provides insight into one man’s struggle to not only survive- but to establish order, freedom and rationality, in a seemingly desolate environment. 

Today I learned that even a King can be surprised by undiscovered treasures within his own Kingdom. It has been twelve years since I was seemingly banished to this island of isolation, and though I have made a comfortable and successful life for myself, I find my mind is constantly looking for ways to improve my condition.

Each year the rainy season that traps me in my cave for weeks at a time, simultaneously alters the shoreline in subtle ways. Today I noticed a rusted handle sticking out of the sand. With some digging I unearthed a water tight chest that must have come from the ship that expelled me into the ocean so long ago. Upon cracking open the chest I retrieved some scrolls of paper, this small, empty journal, a fountain pen and ink, and a book titled Rousseau's Political Writings. I look forward to the new reading material because I find that though the Bible has offered me some comfort, I am becoming overly familiar with the passages and look forward to reading something new.

It has been three weeks since unearthing the aforementioned chest, and I declare that divine Providence, sensing that I could not fully understand the purpose for my placement on this island, sent me the Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men in order to open my eyes and help me realize my full potential on this island. 

One of the ideas that has troubled me repeatedly over the years is why Providence saw it fit to spare me, yet drown my shipmates. Though I did not realize the extent of my capability when first placed on this island, I realize now that I have acquired the necessary skills to make myself Master of this domain and lead a comfortable and healthy life. I took solace in the passage on page 11 that declares, “Nature treats them [citizens] precisely as the law of Sparta treated the children of citizens; it makes strong and robust those with good constitutions and lets all the others perish, differing in that respect from our societies in which the state, by making children burdensome to parents, kills them indiscriminately before they are born”. I now believe that Providence knew my ship mates were too weak and incapable to survive this island life, and knowing the limits of my capacity to provide, spared me the burden of island citizens who would leech my resources and bring woe to us all. I believe that the cats and dog aboard the ship must have been spared because they exist in a form that is closer to nature, and not having had their natural instincts squelched by society, were able to survive the ship wreck. The unblemished resourcefulness that animals have preserved, is what allowed them to be spared a watery death. Similarly, it was the tameness that the progeny kittens displayed, and their inability to look for resources outside my cave,...
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