For the blog post, I want you to recall a contemporary narrative – – book, film, advertisement, etc. – – where nature plays a transformative role. E.g. a narrative where an experience of nature transforms the protagonist, a la “Rip Van Winkle.” Name the narrative. Summarize it briefly. And, briefly, explain what kind of transformative role nature plays in the story.
Nature plays a transformative role in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe, as a rebellious young man, Crusoe chooses to go to sea, against his family’s wishes. Crusoe makes his first voyage at sea successfully, but his second voyage ends in being captured by pirates. He is saved and eventually becomes a plantation owner. Another voyage at sea does not result in success, and he is shipwrecked on an island.
On the seemingly uninhabited island, Crusoe faces many difficulties. He is able to salvage weapons and other items from the shipwreck and is also able to find food to eat. However, being alone on an island is bound to have some kind of effect on the human body and mind. Throughout the novel we see Crusoe’s battle with his sanity.
A footprint in the sand sends him into a hysteria, as he is fearful of to whom the footprint belongs. He does not want to meet the person that this footprint belongs, and this shows a different kind of Crusoe. Nature has thrust him into this situation, and, thus, has transformed him.