Castaway and Cast Away:  Colonial, Imperial,
and Religious Discourses in Daniel Defoe and Robert Zemeckis 

By Catherine Craft-Fairchild


1. Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, eds.  Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory:  A Reader (New York:  Columbia University Press, 1994), 2.

2. Andrew Alexander comments, "Though it is possible that no allusion to the Crusoe story was ever intended, it seems to me inconceivable that a story about a man stranded for years on a deserted island could not be referring, however obliquely, to Robinson Crusoe" - "Castaways Old and New:  The Robinson Crusoe Story in Our Times," Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Northern Plains Conference on Earlier British Literature, ed. Barbara Olive and David Sprunger (Moorhead, MN:  Concordia College, 2002), 79.

3. Brett C. McInelly, "Expanding Empires, Expanding Selves:  Colonialism, the Novel, and Robinson Crusoe," Studies in the Novel 35.1 (Spring 2003).  Reprinted from InfoTrac OneFile, 1.

4. McInelly, 1

5. McInelly, 2, 3, 14.

6. Peter Hulme notes that "the only uninhabited land in America tended to be uninhabitable:  the Amerindians would certainly not have ignored Crusoe's remarkably fertile island unless they had been driven off by the European competition for Caribbean land which was in full swing by 1659" - Colonial Encounters:  Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492-1797 (New York:  Routledge, 1986), 186.

7. Tracing the varying depictions of racial and cultural otherness within the text, Roxann Wheeler notes that "The novel is caught in the cataclysmic shift from a subsistence-based to profit-oriented colonial economy dependent on African slaves" - "'My Savage,' 'My Man':  Racial Multiplicity in Robinson Crusoe," ELH 62.4 (1995):  825.

8. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, ed. Michael Shinagel (New York:  W.W. Norton, 1994).  All quotations are from this edition and are cited parenthetically within the body of this paper.

9. Here (p. 81), Alexander echoes the seminal reading of Ian Watt, who, in an oft-quoted passage, insists, "Crusoe's 'original sin' is really the dynamic tendency of capitalism itself, whose aim is never merely to maintain the status quo, but to transform it incessantly" - The Rise of the Novel:  Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1957), 65.

10. Alexander, 83.

11. Noland jokes during the Christmas Eve dinner that he wears his pager to bed.  He gives a pager, journal, and hand towels to Kelly as holiday gifts before departing on his flight.  When he hands her the engagement ring, Noland mentions that the towels were a joke, which implies that the pager wasn't.  A pager is the first thing Noland looks at when he comes to his senses on the island, and is one of the items buried with the empty coffin his friends mourn over when they think Noland permanently lost.

12. Frank Donoghue, "Inevitable Politics:  Rulership and Identity in Robinson Crusoe," Studies in the Novel 27.1 (Spring 1995).  Reprinted from Expanded Academic, 7.

13. Richard Steele, from The Englishman, No. 26 (Thursday, 3 December 1713), reprinted in the Norton edition of Robinson Crusoe, 236.

14. Leslie Stephen, from "De Foe's Novels," in Hours in a Library (London, 1874), reprinted in the Norton edition of Robinson Crusoe, 278.

5. Watt, 88.

16. Diane Ravitch notes that "Chuck is far inferior to Robinson in ingenuity and enterprise.  Chuck survives mainly on fish and coconuts, and gets very excited when he succeeds in making fire, an accomplishment that Robinson takes for granted.  Robinson, alone for 28 years, teaches himself to grow crops, raise animals, make pots, fashion a canoe and otherwise recreate a modicum of civilization" - "Tom Hanks, You're No Robinson Crusoe," The Wall Street Journal (9 January 2001):  A.22.  Reprinted from ProQuest, 2.

17. Watt, 72.

18. McInelly, 3.

19. McInelly, 3, 4.

20. Watt, 74.

21. Kathleen Streater, "Casting Away the Myth of Robinson Crusoe," unpublished paper, English 572:  Twentieth-Century Adaptations of Eighteenth-Century Literature (March 2001):  4.

22. Ravitch, 2.

23. Gregory C. Benoit, "Cast Away But Redeemed," Journey Magazine 1.2 (Summer 2001):  27.

24. Alexander, 85.

25. Donoghue, 2.  Hulme says something similar, that the textual moment of Crusoe's discovery of his wealth "marks the discovery of the secret of capital itself, that it accumulates in magical independence from the labour of its owner ... plantations built on the violently-extracted labour-power of slaves" (219-20, 222).

26. Gary Gautier, "Slavery, and the Fashioning of Race in Oroonoko, Robinson Crusoe, and Equiano's Life," Eighteenth Century:  Theory and Interpretation 42.2 (Summer 2001).  Reprinted from InfoTrac OneFile, 10.

27. McInelly, 11.

28. Katyna Johnson, "Defining Self and Self-Control in Crusoe and Cast Away," unpublished paper, English 572:  Twentieth-Century Adaptations of Eighteenth-Century Literature (March 2001):  8.

29. Johnson, 8.

30. Alexander, 86.

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