It is not just an immense tree, but is "five foot ten inches in diameter at the lower part . . . and four foot eleven inches diameter at the end of twenty-two foot." Furthermore, time is measured with similar exactitude, as Crusoe's journal shows. We may often wonder why Crusoe feels it useful to record that it did not rain on December 26, but for him the necessity of counting out each day is never questioned.
"As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my Parents, so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy View I had of being a rich and thriving Man in my new Plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate Desire of rising faster than the Nature of the Thing admitted;" (p.257)
All these examples of counting and measuring underscore Crusoe's practical, businesslike character and his hands-on approach to life. But Defoe sometimes hints at the futility of Crusoe's measuring-as when the carefully measured canoe cannot reach water or when his obsessively kept calendar is thrown off by a day of oversleeping.
Generally, we see that there is a major sense of class superiority. Robinson hired one "European servant" and a "Negro slave" on his plantation. We are supposed to assume that one is better than the other.
The basis of such distinctions is rooted in religion. ...
The basis of such distinctions is rooted in religion. Defoe introduces what is perhaps the most important background component to the story--the role of Christianity, particularly as it connects to relationships with other people.
What appears to be a friendship between Robinson and Xury is turned into a common master-slave relationship when Crusoe decides to part with him so that Xury will be Christian in ten years' time. The fact that he is willing to forsake his companion in this manner indicates how strongly the Christian faith is entrenched within him. Essentially it is the driving force behind this decision. The excerpt below exemplifies how Crusoe viewed his life when faced with crisis which can have an economic nature and how God acts to help him get through it.
"I have been in all my Circumstances a Memento to those who are touched with the general Plague of Mankind, whence, for ought I know, one half of their Miseries flow; I mean, that of not being satisfy'd with the Station wherein God and Nature has plac'd them; for not to look back upon my primitive Condition, and the excellent Advice of my Father, the Opposition to which was, as I may call it, my ORIGINAL SIN." (p. 168)
It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore." (p. 172)
The business-like friendship between Xury and Crusoe is further emphasized when the narrator procures a plantation in Brazil. Astounded by the hard work, he wishes dearly for "his boy Xury." The diction of this line demonstrates possessiveness toward Robinson's companion.
Ironically, he only longs for his company when there is back-breaking labor to be done. It appears that Xury's un-Christian status degrades him in the eyes of the narrator and