Submitted By drosale3
Words: 2500
Pages: 10

Michel Tournier’s novel Friday strategically critiques postcolonial Eurocentric values through Robinson Crusoe’s manipulation of the native archipelago Friday and the occupation and administration over the island Speranza. After Robinson becomes stranded on the island and realizes this is where he will be he is committed to developing a new way of living, by stripping himself apart, “Only later did he fully grasp the import of that experience of nakedness, which he had undergone for the first time” (33). The necessity of nakedness will allow him to familiarize himself with the unfamiliar. It is through this battle that Robinson becomes an organizer, by whatever means come to his hand, ultimately becoming triumphant and imposing a will of his own Eurocentric image without restriction on Friday. Knowing that nakedness, “is a luxury in which a man may indulge himself without danger only when he is warmly surrounded by his fellow man” (33) Robinson wastes no time imposing his presence on the island Speranza, surveying it and taking stock of its resources, “its edible plants, potentially useful animals, fresh–water springs, and natural shelters” (45). This way of life being the only logical outcome, for Robinson, established the beginning of a new life, his true life on the island. By usage of Robinson, the island, and the archipelago, Tournier builds on the importance Eurocentric values contribute to the postcolonial theory. In his book Postcolonial Theory and Organizational Analysis a Critical Engagement, Anshuman Prasad examines how post colonialism impacts the choices made on contemporary society defining post colonialism as, “represents an attempt to investigate the complex and deeply fraught dynamics of modern Western colonialism and anticolonial resistance, and the ongoing significance of the colonial encounter for people’s lives both in the West and the non–West” (5). While the function of Friday may be the most apparent examination of post colonialism, for purposes of this paper this term will be used synonymously with postcolonial theory, it is through the colonization of Speranza readers are given an insight of this theory. After Robinson realizes he will not be able to singlehandedly escape off the island, he established his new life spending several days drawing a map of the island. Although, not immediately noticeable this scene establishes Robinson’s imposition establishing how the island will work for him. Moved by his newly founded Christian religion he rechristens the island naming it after one of the three cardinal virtues, “Speranza, the Island of Hope” (47). Based on this newly found religion Robinson begins to determine what is best for the island and in which ways he can obtain what he needs for survival. In order to do this, Robinson begins to survey the island. Through the use of personification, “My victory is the moral order I must impose on Speranza against her natural order, which is but another name for total disorder” (51-52) the island is no longer an object rather a willing companion ready to assist where need be. Although, the island is not human it must still be nourished or suffer the consequences of total disarray. For Robinson the first living creature he fully encounters on the island is Speranza herself, “Robinson can be infinitely rich only when he merges with Speranza as a whole” (68). Without Robinson’s ownership and control, the island would be a fragile, complex island lacking all the nutrients of survival. Through his wisdom and attentive eyes and ears will this island be a place of hope. It is with complete knowledge of the island Robinson will posses through his surveying of the island that Speranza will no longer be the damsel in distress, “I shall not be content until this opaque and impenetrable place, filled with secret ferments and malignant stirrings, has been transformed into a rational structure, visible and intelligible to its very depths!” (66). By becoming one