Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Themes....

Adventure: Life as a Perilous Journey Robinson Crusoe goes to sea in search of high adventure rather than lead a humdrum life in England. He finds more than his share of adventure on several ships in stormy seas, in several countries on two continents, and on an island on which he must tame nature, learn survival skills, and fight savages. In some ways, he represents every man on his journey through life, as did Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey, coping with many dangers and ultimately returning home after a long time.

Importance of Religion
Robinson Crusoe not only discovers the world–or a goodly part of it–during his adventures. He also discovers the importance of religion in his life. Once a lukewarm Christian, he becomes a devout Christian after interpreting stormy seas as signs of God's displeasure and after becoming marooned and struggling through an illness. He writes:
I daily read the word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, "I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? "Well, then," said I, "if God does not forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all forsake me, seeing on the other hand, if I had all the world, and should lose the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss?"

Freedom and Slavery
In the beginning of the novel, Robinson Crusoe yearns to be free and independent. When he goes to sea, he escapes the prison of ordinary life in England. In the rest of the novel, Crusoe repeatedly struggles for freedom–from an angry sea, from pirates who capture him, from an empty pocketbook, from a foundering ship, from fear and hunger, from the confines of his island. Others seek freedom as well, including mutineers, their captives, and the captives of cannibals. Ironically, Crusoe tolerates and benefits by people who know no freedom, slaves.

Colonialism and Capitalism
In the second half of the 17th Century, when the action in the novel takes place, European companies vied for control and exploitation of colonized lands around the world. Crusoe appears to represent this imperialist spirit, first when he goes to Guinea, next when he travels to Brazil and opens a plantation, and finally when he becomes "king" of an island.

Crusoe learns to depend on his wits and talents to survive. On his island, he makes furniture, grows crops, and tames and uses animals.

Loneliness vs.Solitude
Crusoe’s loneliness on the island evolves into solitude. Being alone terrified him when he arrived; later, aloneness became desirable. Theologian Paul Tillich once observed, “Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” Crusoe came to appreciate the glory of being alone. His anxiety at discovering a human footprint is therefore quite understandable.

Main themes

The theme of a novel refers to the main idea or concern in a story.

Courage and Determination

Robinson Crusoe’s parents want him to become a lawyer but Crusoe is
determined to become a sailor. He leaves home without his parents’
blessing and works hard to become a good sailor.
He shows great courage when he escapes from his Turkish master.
He ensures he has guns and food before he escapes.
When he is shipwrecked on a deserted island, Crusoe overcomes great
obstacles to survive. He struggles alone in order to carry food, equipment
and other materials from the ship so that he can make a life for himself until
he is rescued. He builds two homes, a raft and a canoe. He is also able to
make tools and plant enough food for himself and his companions.
He shows great courage when he saves Friday, Friday’s father, the Spaniard
and the second English sea captain. He does all this
at the risk of being captured and eaten by the cannibals!

Importance of Hard Work
It is important to work hard as this makes you disciplined and successful
in life. Robinson Crusoe is a good example of a man who is fearless,
positive and hard-working. Instead of complaining about his fate,
he looks at the situation and does what is needed to make the situation
better. For example, he salvages useful items from the sinking ship,
makes a canoe and safe shelters for himself, and hunt for food.
He creates a comfortable life for himself and is able to survive on
the island for twenty-eight years.

Friendship and Loyalty
Humans need friendship and good relationships with others.
When Crusoe runs away to London, he makes friends with
a ship’s captain who grows to like and trust him. He teaches
Crusoe mathematics and navigation until Crusoe becomes a good sailor.
Crusoe is a friendly and sociable person. The captain invites
Crusoe to go with him to Guinea, thus starting Crusoe’s involvement
in business and sailing. Crusoe also makes many friends while farming in Brazil.
When Crusoe gets shipwrecked on the island, he is desolate
and miserable. Deprived of human company, he finds comfort
and companionship with two dogs he rescues from the shipwreck,
the parrot and the cats.
During his twenty-fifth year on the island, he manages to
save a savage from a group of cannibals who land on the island.
This man is so grateful that he wants to be Crusoe’s slave.
However, Crusoe prefers him to be a friend. Crusoe teaches
him to eat animal flesh, speak English and share his religious beliefs.
Friday, as Crusoe calls him, becomes his faithful companion and friend.
Crusoe also becomes a friend to the Spanish and English mutineers
who were left on the island. He solves their disputes
and helps them to form friendships with each other.

Relationship with Nature
Humans are part of Nature and, therefore, should live and work
harmony with Nature. Crusoe is a man at peace with Nature.
He loves the sea and the outdoors. So when he is marooned
on the island and finds himself alone with only Nature
as his companion, he adapts easily.
He is quick to use things from Nature to help him survive.
He uses the trees and plants to build himself a canoe and
homes, ant to provide him with food.

Sub-Themes / Minor Themes
Friday is dedicated to Crusoe, the man who saves
him from being eaten by the cannibals.
The second English ship’s captain is grateful
to Crusoe for rescuing him from the mutineers.

Power and Control
Crusoe lives on the deserted island for twenty-eight years.
He makes it his comfortable home. He has control over Nature there.
During his rescue of Friday, he kills a cannibal. A grateful Friday
is willing to be his slave. Crusoe teaches Friday to speak in
English and about his religious beliefs. Thus, Crusoe has power over Friday.
Crusoe is viewed as owner and lord of the island. Crusoe is also
able to bring peace between the Spanish and the English
living on the island. He divides the island between the two
groups and this proves his control over the island and its inhabitants.

Faith in God
Robinson Crusoe has great faith in God. He does not give up
hope when he is shipwrecked and finds himself all alone
on a deserted island. His faith that God will sustain him
through the many trials in life keeps him going.
Crusoe says, ‘All… God for an answer.” (p. 41, para. 3)
Crusoe’s strong belief in God is also seen when he teaches
Friday about the goodness and power that comes with having faith in God.
Good versus Evil
Robinson Crusoe shows that good triumphs over
evil when he helps Friday to escape from the cannibals.
Crusoe also teaches Friday about God’s
goodness and how it triumphs over the Devil’s evilness.
The mutineers who are disloyal to their captain are
finally overcome by the ‘good’ forces of Crusoe and Friday.


Fear Robinson Crusoe must overcome his fear in order to survive his long ordeal on the deserted island. The trial by fear begins when he runs about like a madman, scared of every shadow, and sleeps in a tree with a weapon: "fear banished all my religious hope, all that former confidence in God." He quickly realizes that he must recover his wits and reason if he is to survive.
     At several points in the narrative, Crusoe is almost overwhelmed by his fear of the unknown. It propels him to colonize the island, securing his shelter and becoming self-sufficient. His ability to funnel his fear into productivity and creativity allows him to survive under extreme conditions.
    Crusoe masters his fear when he faces the ultimate challenge — the devil. Investigating a cave, he is met by a pair of eyes. At first scared, he realizes that he can confront this enemy just like he has met every other challenge on the island. "He that was afraid to see the devil, was not fit to live twenty years in an island all alone."
    With that, he rushes in to confront the devil and discovers a dying goat. He has passed his trial. Had he not faced his fears, he would have run away in full belief that the devil lived in that cave. Instead, he investigates and confronts his fear.

Human Condition
Robinson Crusoe is a meditation on the human condition, and an argument for challenging traditional notions about that condition. Finding himself alone in a deserted island, Crusoe struggles to maintain reason, order, and civilization. His "original sin" is his rejection of a conventional life. When he leaves England for a life on the high seas, he refuses to be "satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature hath placed" him.
    Crusoe struggles with — and eventually triumphs over — nature. The book suggests that this struggle is at the heart of human nature: man is on earth to triumph and gain profit from nature. Any profit makes sense in this view of the world, whether that means getting just one plank out of a huge tree or building a boat too heavy to bring to the water. Once Crusoe is able to overcome his fear and subdue nature is rewarded handsomely.

Consistent with Defoe's writings on economics, money is an important theme in Robinson Crusoe. At the beginning of the narrative, Crusoe details how much money he has, what he does with it, and what he gains by his actions.
     On the island, money loses all value. Crusoe has to find another way to measure his worth. While rummaging through a ship for salvage he laments aloud at the sight of some money, "O Drug! what are thou good for." At that point he realizes that just one knife is worth more than money. Usefulness is the key to evaluation of worth.
     Crusoe's hope of returning to England is symbolized by these tokens of civilization — on the island, the money is only a reminder of his old life and he treasures it as a memento. In all of his other endeavors he freely admits his success or failure. But as a merchant, he knows that though separated from the world now, he can only reconnect with it if he has money. Once he returns to London, his old reliance on money returns.

Industrialization is defined here as a process whereby humans channel the forces of nature into the production and manufacture of goods for their economic consumption. This industrialization is Crusoe's occupation, according to his cultural background and his religion. He immediately sets out to be productive and self-sufficient on the island.
       By the time of Robinson Crusoe, most villages were experiencing labor specialization. People began to buy bread instead of baking it. Thus Crusoe has to relearn many of these arts to survive. With practice, Crusoe is able to increase the level of industrialization on his island.
       Crusoe has a few implements with which he is able to reconstruct a semblance of civilization as well as create more advanced technology. While building his house, he notes that every task is exhausting. In brief, he praises the idea of "division of labor" as he describes cutting timber out of trees, bringing the wood from the trees to the construction site, and then constructing his shelter. He soon devises labor-saving devices, thus increasing his efficiency and productivity.
      The necessity of a sharp ax leads Crusoe to invent his own foot-powered sharpener. He has "no notion of a kiln," but he manages to fire pottery. He needs a mill for grinding his grain, but not finding a proper stone, he settles for a block of hard wood. The entire process of baking his own bread spurs a realization of how wonderful the state of human technology is.
       People take the labor behind the necessities of life for granted when such items can be easily purchased in the market. Crusoe is not suggesting that people return to a world of self-sufficient households. Instead, as he goes about his Herculean tasks, like creating a simple shelf in his house, he comments that a carpenter could have finished the two-day job in an hour. Thus he appreciates the process of specialization that helps make industrialization so successful.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Joke of An Animal

Siamese are clever. Don't expect your bright Siamese to wait for you to come home before being naughty. They need to keep that brain amused and if you don't leave them copious reading material or some good films about bird watching, your Siamese (even a Siamese kitten) will find amusement wherever they can. I have seen some amazing flower arrangements and indoor gardens created by a bored Siamese. Be prepared to spend time playing.

When they are bad, they are very bad

The 'ugly' side of Siamese cats? Facts can be deceiving and no single Siamese is all bad - although some come close.

A jealous cat? Yes, so best not tease your Siamese or you'll be at the receiving end of sulks for as long as your cat chooses to punish you. To speed the forgiveness process little hors d'oeuvres might eventually be accepted. And please, never fuss over another cat when your Siamese is within earshot. Long after you have forgotten all about it an ambush of historic proportions will be mounted on the surprised rival for your affections.

Please don't let these little details put you off. If this Siamese cat information hasn't put you off, then you may be one of the suitable and special people for whom a Siamese is a welcome addition to the family. I certainly couldn't be without one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Here analogy examples and great analogies explained so you can use them as tools in your writing. There is nothing like an example of analogy to help you in your songwriting.

An analogy is a comparison between two different things so you can point out something about how they are similar. The comparison often is done point by point.

It often is done to explain something not well known by describing something that is known so you can generalize the information from what you already understand to the new thing.

Its a way to provide insight by suggesting existing similarities suggest that there are even more points that are similar.

Using analogies helps the reader to see the logic in your example, perhaps create a visual awareness of what you are talking about and helps them verbalize and understand your suggestion. It transfers information from one particular subject to another.

It does this by inferring the similarity. It does not prove the similarity such as making deductions. What you generally demonstrate is how "a" and "b" is similar somehow to the relationship between "c" and "d".

Here are some more specific example of analogy:

1. glove is to hand as monitor is to computer

2. surfs are to a king as earth is to the sun

3. furs were to north american aboriginals as credit is to a shopper

Notice how there are similarities in the terms used first and the ones that they are compared to. A glove has a similar relation to a hand just as a monitor has to a computer.

Surfs, by similar logic, are similar to the earth, and furs served a similar function in north american aboriginals cultures as credit provides in our shopping world of today.

Analogies show similarities in relationships that you might not first realize but they can be taken too far. At some point if you continue the comparison in too great of detail your comparison breaks down.

You are pointing out similarities, not proving they are exactly the same. They are only suggestions, they do not prove anything but just point out similarities that you might not have noticed.

Analogies are different than metaphors. Analogies set up examples of similar relationships between two things but don't show total likeness. A metaphor does. It tries to turns one thing into another.

In your writing you have to decide how far do you want to go with your example of analogy. Do you just want to show a comparison or do you want to turn one thing into another?

Both have their place. But you must think of the impact on your listeners or readers, use an example of analogy to see what best fits your needs.

Analogies let one object you're comparing have some baggage that doesn't automatically get forced on to the other. A simile also allows you this leeway as you are only saying one thing is "like" another.

But use a metaphor and your second object has to wear all good and the bad baggage in the comparison. Think of the impact when you choose which to use. Hopefully analogy examples will assist you.



Definition: Imperatives are verbs used to give orders, commands,warning or instructions, and (if you use "please") to make a request. It is one of the three moods of an English verb (indicative, imperative and subjunctive). For example:

  • Give me that tape, please.
To make the imperative, use the infinitive of the verb without "to"
For example:

  • Come here!
  • Sit down!
To make a negative imperative, put "do not" or "don't" before the verb:
For example:

  • Don't go!
  • Do not walk on the grass.
You can also use "let's" before the verb if you are including yourself in the imperative. The negative of "let's" is "let's not".
For example:

  • Let's stop now.
  • Let's have some lunch.
  • Let's not argue
  • Let's not tell her about it.
Adults do not usually give each other orders, unless they are in a position of authority. However, adults can give orders to children and to animals. The intonation of an order is important: each word is stressed, and the tone falls at the end of the sentence:
For example:
  • Sit down now!
    * "Sit", "down" and "now" are all stressed, and the tone falls on "now".
You can use the imperative to warn someone of danger. All the words in the warning are stressed, but the last word has a higher tone than the first word:
For example:
  • Sit down now!
    * "Sit", "down" and "now" are all stressed, and the tone falls on "now".
  • Watch out!
  • Look out!
  • Don't cross!
When you give advice using the imperative, the words are stressed normally.
For example:
  • Don't tell him you're resigning now! Wait until Monday when he's in a better mood.
  • Don't drink alcohol
  • Don't eat heavy meals
You can also use the imperative to make a request, but you should use a polite word before the verb:
For example:
  • Please take a seat.
  • Please wait here.
  • Please hold the line.
  • Please don't smoke here.
Note that an imperative sentence does not require a subject; the pronoun "you" is implied.


Above and beyond – more than what is normally required. The off-duty
policeman chased and caught the bag snatcher; his action was above
and beyond what was expected of him since he was not on duty at that

Beyond the call of duty – in addition to what is required in the normal
course of performing one’s job.  The fireman went back to the burning
house to rescue the cat; he acted beyond his call of duty.

Above suspicion – having a reputation for honesty that no one would
suspect you of wrongdoing. The teacher was elected club treasurer
because she is known to be completely above suspicion.

Ace in a hole – something or someone held in reserve to turn things
around later. The new recruit is the team’s ace in the hole to improve
their standing in the sports competition this year.

Acid test – a test whose result is considered to be conclusive or
beyond doubt. The DNA result will be the acid test that will determine if
the authorities caught the real culprit in the crime.
Across the board – Shared equally by everyone. The company
management decided to give salary increases to the employees
across the board.
Act as someone –  to act or perform, temporarily or permanently, in the
capacity of someone else. I’ll act as your interim trainer until your
regular trainer comes back from his business trip in the province.

Act of God – an event for which no person is responsible for; a natural
event such as typhoon, earthquake, volcanic eruption, lightning, and
similar acts of nature. The insurance company did not pay for the
damage to their properties because it was caused by an act of God.

Act of war – an intentional act of hostility or violence so severe that war
is considered to be an appropriate response. The attack on the Twin
Towers in New York was considered by the Americans as an act of war
by the terrorists.

Add fuel to the fire – to do something that makes a bad situation
worse. The customer is already agitated so do not add fuel to the fire
by ignoring his plea for help.

Afraid of one’s own shadow – easily suspicious or frightened. Since
you told him of the hair-raising urban legend above the jail escapee he
has become afraid of his own shadow.

After all is said and done – when everything is discussed and acted
on. After all is said and done, everyone went home satisfied with the
result of the town meeting.

After hours – after the regular or normal time. Jim and Tom hang
around the cocktail lounge after hours.

After the fact – after an incident has occurred. Jake expressed
remorse for his crime after the fact.

Against someone’s will – to do something without a person’s
agreement or consent. You cannot force him to join your activities
against his will.

Against the clock – in a race with time; to get something done with
urgency.  The doctors operated on the accident victim against the clock