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欧美文学作业:鲁宾逊—当代商人的先行者

时间:2014-05-26 17:39:47 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien
欧美文学作业:鲁宾逊—当代商人的先行者

Ⅰ. Introduction
Robinson Crusoe is undoubtedly one of the best-known works of literature of all-time. It has been greatly influencing the literature world. It is regarded as one of the most influential literary works among Chinese young students and ranked most classical literary works since it’s coming out. Therefore, it has been deeply satisfied to many readers and was highly appreciated by many experts. The editor of Robinson Crusoe remarked, “If ever the story of any private mans adventures in the world worth making public, and were acceptable when publish, the editor of this account thinks this will be.” (Daniel Defoe. 1960:1)
The story of Robinson Crusoe is based on the adventures of Scottish buccaneer Alexander Selkirk. Robinson Crusoe is the story of a shipwrecked sailor who is washed ashore on an isolated island. There, he begins a long and arduous struggle for survival, trying to make his lonely existence a little more pleasant. He manages to survive for four years and four months. Finally he was discovered by a famous navigator Lodge and came back to England in 1771.
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) has been well known as the writer of Robinson Crusoe among readers of different generations all over the world. He was a prolific writer (over 370 known publications). This novel has often been taken as an adventure story by common readers, and while critics usually emphasize its portrayal of the development of capitalism. The literature value of the novel is undoubted. It is Daniel Defoe’s masterpiece. He is one of the greatest writers in world. He was regarded as the founder of realistic novel of the Enlightenments of England.
 
Ⅱ. The Major Characteristics of Robinson Crusoe and His Pioneering Role
2.1 Courage and Passion
2.1.1 The Embodiment of Courage and Passion in Robinson Crusoe
Most of us have a dream about our life, jobs and status. But few of us are really satisfied with our current situation. Most of us find that it is very difficult to realize our dream because of the hard situation in reality. Robinson Crusoe also has these kinds of problems. However, few of us have the courage to make any change. That’s why most of us can hardly make any progress. But once Robinson Crusoe had a dream, nothing can impede him.
When he was a child, he got the strong will to go to sea. But his parents didn’t support him and insisted to convince him to forget this stupid idea and go apprentice to trade, or clerk to an attorney. His father called him one morning into his chamber. Where he confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly Robinson Crusoe upon this subject. The father asked him what reasons more a mere wandering inclination he had for leaving his father’s house and his native country, where he might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising his fortunes application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. The father told him it was for men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above him, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which the father found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships. The labor and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind are not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition and envy of the upper part of mankind.#p#分页标题#e#
Losing two of his three sons, Robinson Crusoe’s father would certainly not allow his only beloved son going to sea and suffering miseries. He pressed Robinson earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to precipitate himself miseries which nature and the station of life he was born in. seemed to have provided against; that he was under no necessity of seeking his bread; that the father would do well for him, and endeavor to enter Robinson fairly into the station of life which the father been just recommending to him.
Being an obedient child and due to the love of his father, Robinson was hesitant at once. But he finally chose the life he wanted and broke away from the life of ease and pleasures.
By the 2nd time he went to sea again, he was a rich and thriving man with a plantation in Brazil. He had lived almost four years in Brazil and had not only learned the language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among his fellow-planters, as well as among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which was an important port.
This was a fair proposal it must be confessed, had it been made to one that not had a settlement and plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for Robinson that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as he had begun for three of four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pound from England, and who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce had failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling. And that increasing too; For him to think of such a voyage, was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of. But finally he sailed again. He just couldn’t stop himself from going to sea. Because that was his interest and life he wanted.
Any one who wants to succeed must have such passion on their jobs or careers as Robinson’s passion for going to sea. If they are not interested in their current jobs at all, they must take courage to stop wasting their time on such things and focus on the right things. This is the foundation of achieving success.
2.1.2 Comparing with Contemporary Successful Businessman —Michael Dell
Courage and passion are vivid embodied in Robinson Crusoe. It’s still affecting the following successful businessman.
Michael Dell is the chairman and chief executive officer (C.E.O) of Dell Computer Corp. Which he founded in 1984 with $1,000 and an innovative idea: selling computer systems directly to customers. By using this approach, Dell has made itself one of the world’s most preferred computer systems’ companies and a chief provider of products and service needed in information technology and Internet infrastructure. In 18 years, the company’s sales have grown to $31.2 billion for the past year.
At his time, anyone who didn’t have a Pc wanted one, but dealers were selling them at a hasty markup. People wanted low-cost machines custom-made to their needs, and these were not readily available. Why should dealers get such a big markup for so little added value? Dell wondered. Why not sell from the manufacturer directly to the end user? Dell placed local advertisements offering his customized computers at 15 percent off retail price. Soon he was selling to businesses, doctor’s offices and law firms.#p#分页标题#e#
Dell’s parents told him they were concerned about his grades. “If you want to start a business, do it after you get your degree.” His father said.
Dell followed his father’s advice. But he felt the opportunity of a lifetime was passing by. “I couldn’t bear to miss this chance,” he says. After one month he started selling computers again——with a vengeance.
The quarter he shared with two roommates looked like a combat zone: boxes piled high, computer boards and tools scattered around. One day his roommates heaped all his equipment into a pile, preventing Dell from entering his room.
Over spring recess, Dell confessed to his parents that he was still in the computer business. He told his parents he must quit school. “I want to compete with IBM,” he said.
Compare with IBM? Now his parents were really worried. But no matter what they said, Dell stuck fast. 
Dell’s pace was frantic. He rented a one-room office on a month-to-month lease and hired his first employee, a 28-year-old manager to handle finance and administration. He still specialized in direct marketing of stripped-down IBM PCs to which he added custom features. As orders came in, Dell rushed around gathering up the right part assemble each order. First month he sales topped $180,000; the second, $265,000. Within a year, he was selling 1,000 PCs a month. He made a great success.
Courage and Passion were obviously embodied on Michael Dell. He is a brave man, he knew what he really want to do and knew what he really interested in. The nonsupport of his parents and the misunderstanding of his roommates and friends couldn’t stop him. He gave up his course and suffered from the great pressure of society, strove for his dream with passion, which is the reason why he finally got the great achievements. He became the chairman and chief executive officer (C.E.O) of Dell Computer Corp, one of the biggest computer companies in the world.
 In this aspect, Dell and Robinson Crusoe are similar. They are brave and strive for their dream with passion. They have the same characteristic. Robinson’s pioneering role is obviously. 
2.2. Reason
2.2.1 The Embodiment of Reason in Robinson Crusoe
Being the sole survivor, with nothing about him except a knife, a tobacco-pipe and little tobacco, Robinson was thrown into terrible agonies of mind that for a while he run about likes a madman. But he was still rational.
He started to about a furlong from the shore and found fresh water. It was quite an important thing in such cases. After drinking some fresh water, he put a little tobacco in his mouth to prevent hunger. Then he went to a tree, and getting up into it. He endeavored to place himself so as that if he should sleep he might not fall. Having cut himself a short stick, like a truncheon, for his defense, he took up his lodging. Having been excessively fatigued, he fell fast asleep, and sleep as comfortably as few could have done in his condition. What a man!#p#分页标题#e#
After he had lived on the isolated island for about ten or twelve days, it came into his thoughts that he should lose his reckoning of time for want of books and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath days from the working days. But to prevent this he cut it with his knife upon a large post in capital letters, and making it into a great cross he set it up on the shore where he first landed, viz: I came on shore here on the 30th of sept. 1659. Upon the sides of this square pose he cut everyday notch was as long as that long one, and thus he kept his calendar, or weekly, monthly and yearly reckoning of time.
After eleven years of his residence, his powder was growing low, So he had often been musing, whether it might not be possible to get a lamb or two, and so raise a breed of tame goats, which might supply him when his power and shot should be all spent.
At length he resolved to try a pit-fall, so he dug several large pits in the earth, in places where he had observed the goats used to feed, and over these pits he placed hurdles of his own baking too, with a weight and some ears of barley, dry rice upon them. Finally he caught four goats, a large old he-goat and three kids, a male and two females.
He spent three mouthes made a big hedge to keep the tame goats from the wild. Finally he succeeded, and in about a year and a half he had a flock of a bout twelve goats, kids and all, and in two years more he had three and forty, besides he took and killed for his food. This was not all. He not only had goats flesh to feed on when he pleased, but milk too. He set up his dairy, and had sometimes a gallon or two of milk in a day. And after several experiments, he can make both butter and cheese at last, and never wanted it afterwards.
Few people could be so rational, sturdy and positive while being on such an occasion an occasion. Hardly will a person encounter such misery now. But there will always be some troubles in everyone’s life. Only those who can face up to problems and difficulties are likely to succeed.
2.2.2 Comparing with Contemporary Successful Businessman ——Ray Kroc
Reason is an important character of a successful businessman. Robinson Crusoe made himself a great example for the following people.
The man who brought McDonald’s to the world was not a smiley-face clown named Ronald, but a sharp-dressed salesman from Chicago named Ray Kroc. His dedication to strict stands, his diligence in providing customers with consistent quality, service, cleanliness and value and his innovative use of cooking techniques prompted a Harvard Business School professor to describe him as “the service sector’s equivalent of Henry Ford.”
At the beginning Kroc was the exclusive distributor of the multimixer. Over the next few years, Kroc made a good living selling multimixer, but after WWⅡ his customer base began drying up. Many of the drug store soda fountains that were Ray’s best customer began closing down. As Ray was losing customers by the dozen, one small restaurant in California, kept ordering more multimixer. Kroc wanted to see for himself the type of place that needed to churn out 40 milk shakes at a time. He headed to California to meet two brothers who would change his life——Dick and Mac McDonald. Kroc saw the restaurant in 1945 and was entranced by the effectiveness of the operation. It was a hamburger restaurant, though not of the drive-in variety popular at the time. People had to get out of their cars to be served. Kroc was deeply impressed with the McDonald brothers’ operation. He saw the opportunity for lots of new milkshake machine orders, if only the brothers would open more restaurant and Kroc volunteered to run them as franchising agent.#p#分页标题#e#
In 1955, he opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in Illinois, and set the wheels in motion for worldwide domination. Six years later Kroc had opened 323 McDonald’s around the country. The successful Kroc decided it was time he took control of his own destiny. In 1961, he bought out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million. It turned out to be a bargain, as McDonald’s grew into the world’s largest quick-service restaurant organization.
Ray Kroc is a rational man. After WWⅡ, the world’s economy environment is bad. A lot of companies were bankrupt, and most enterprises are facing economic crisis. At that time, people’s concept started to change. Unlike other businessmen Kroc followed this trend. So he got a great success at last.
Ray Kroc and Robinson are rational men. When they confront difficult situation, they didn’t complain the bad situation they met. They just calmed their mind, looking for the best way to solute the difficulty. So finally they both got success.
2.3 Perseverance
2.3.1 The Embodiment of Perseverance in Robinson Crusoe
Robinson is a man with strong-minded perseverance. He had spent more than 20 years on the isolated island, which I think no body else can bear. At the beginning he just had few useful things with him, lacking food and most of the equipment for daily life. In order to survive, he ceaselessly thought about how to get enough food. During those years, Robinson Crusoe learned to raise goats and plant plants. He also learned to make furniture by himself. When he left the island 28 years later, the island was much like a manor or an island country.
There is a list Robinson made at the beginning of his isolated island life:
1.      I am cast upon a horrible desolate island, few of all hope of recovery.
2.      I am singled out and separated, as it were from all the world to be miserable.
3.      I am divided from mankind, a solitaire, one banished from humane society.
4.      I have not clothes to cover me.
5.      I am without any defense or means to resist any violence of man or beast. 
6.      I have no soul to speak to, or relieve me.
His condition was so horrible, which was so much to a common people, but Robinson Crusoe never gave up. He fought against the miseries he suffered.
He hut goats and birds in the forest, which solved his problem of his food demand. He liked for wild fruits and collected it and stored in his habitation. All his action of this period was just like that of men in primitive society and took him great energy because of his lacking of tools and experience.
In human history of the Old Stone Age, people collected wild plants like strawberry and cherry, making them into food and stored them for the winters. The instrument they used to hunt was the bow. Robinson’s life then was just like that of human in the Old Stone Age, the only distinguish of them is that Robinson’s weapon for hutting was guns that he brought from a civilized society and Robinson, unlike people in the Old Stone Age who always do their hutting and collection in group, carried out his action alone, which added more difficult to his work. “No one in a single life could claim the satisfaction of victory, but only of continuance and survival.” (Christopher Gillie,1972: 200)#p#分页标题#e#
Shortly after Robinson’s collection and hunting, he began to change his producing form. Collecting wild fruits and hunting no longer satisfied Robinson who began to think about taming animals and growing crops himself.
He tried very hard to catch some goat alive and made fence to enclose them. The tamed goats provided him a large amount of food. He also caught some parrots and tamed them and taught some parrots and tamed them and taught one of them to talk. Although it was not for the purpose of providing him food, it enriched Robinson’s life in the isolated island and what’s more, it was a reflection of the development of animal husbandry in this island.
He initially failed of reaping any crop from his field, but he didn’t give up. He observed the change of the season and acquired the law. He tried to divide the dry season and the rainy season. Though he failed to enjoy his harvest, he tried another attempt and by this experiment he was made master of his business, and knew exactly when the proper season was to saw, and that he might expect two seed times, and two harvests every year.
He decorated his habitation and enlarged the space of it to make sure he lived comfortable and in safety. The fatal draw back of his process was his shortage of tools which he spent much time and energy to make. It took him much time and energy to fall a tree and them to cut it into the shape of plank to make a table or a chair which was shapeless at first, he gained experience during his tremendous work.
All of these improved the level of his life. He was successful with his perseverance at last. He had conquered the miseries he suffered.
2.3.2 Comparing with Contemporary Successful Businessman ——David Sarnoff
No one can succeed without perseverance. Robinson confronted a lot of deadly difficulties when he lived on the isolated island. But he never gave up and finally made such an great achievement. He just like a hero leading the ambitious people who trapped in trouble to fight bravely and realize their dream. 
David Sarnoff was the father of Broadcasting. His father was a Jewish painter in a factory of Uzlian in Russia. Needless to say, they were very poor. In 1896, his father came to the USA with a large influx of other Russian Jews. His mother sent him to his grandmother’ brother who was a rabbi to teach him to become a rabbi. He spent four years eating and sleeping with the “Talmud”. He literally had to sing for his supper. If he missed a portion of his memorization, he couldn’t eat his meal.
In 1900, his father had made enough money to bring the rest of his family over to the USA. His father had endured some hard times in New York, doing menial jobs. This did much in destroying his health. David saw the squalor they lived in and decided that he had to do something about it. At nine years of age, he was going to have to become the family breadwinner.#p#分页标题#e#
David began selling newspapers every afternoon at a penny a piece. For every fifty papers he sold, he received a quarter. In order to be successful, he had to beat out other boys in covering the territory before they sold theirs. In order to make more money, he took up delivering another paper in the morning. At 4:00 a.m. every morning he would wake up and grab the bundle of papers as they were tossed from the elevated train. He trained himself to wake up at the sound of the oncoming train. His days were filled with delivering newspapers, with little time in between to study and read. On weekends he made extra money singing in his synagogue.
Although David’s situation was bad, he also enrolled in English classes at the Educational Alliance. This was a school set up by German Jews who had come to the USA in the 1800’s. David spent much time in the school’s library and attending lectures held at the school auditorium. After only five months in America, he had learned enough English to read the English newspapers.
David Sarnoff as he was known at the time didn’t actually start out as a telegraph operator. He started out as an office boy sweeping floors and running errands. He read everything that he was supposed to file and soon learned everything there was to know about the company. Perseverance was obviously embodied on him. Finally he was success. He became the father of Broadcasting.
Perseverance is a very important characteristic for a person who wants to success. No one can proceed smoothly without a hitch in his plant. Robinson Crusoe met deadly situation when he lived in the isolated island and David Samoff led a hard life when he was young. But they never give up. So they finally got great success.
2.4 Sense of Leadership
    2.4.1 The Embodiment of the Sense of Leadership in Robinson
    Robinson is an excellent leader. Anywhere he went, he would get a lot of friends there, as he was in Brazil. He had many faithful friends in his life, such as the boy who accompanies him when he escaped from slavery, the captain who saved him on the sea, and Friday. His talent in leadership was evidently embodied as follow.
He helped the captain who took him back home, to seize his ship. It was an English ship. The sailors of the ship mutinied against the captain and seize the ship. The sailors set the captain on shore in the desolate place which accidental is island. Robinson helped the captain to conquer the brutes and seize the ship again. This action showed Robinson’s talent in leadership was outstanding. Finally he won the captain and his fellow’s trust and respect, and also the opportunity of leaving the isolated island.
Robinson Crusoe has a servant. His name is Friday. Robinson taught Friday English. The first word is “master”. He showed the foundation of religious knowledge to Friday. He began to instruct in the knowledge of the God. Jesus Christ being sent o redeem people. He taught him Bible and made him know treachery is guilty. Servant must obey to the master’s instruction. Friday accepted these concepts and became a very good servant.#p#分页标题#e#
An excellent leader must know how to get on well with his fellows, better if he can earn their trust and respect. Hardly can a person succeed without his friends’ support.
2.4.2 Comparing with the Contemporary Successful Businessman—Henry Ford
Robinson’s sense of leadership is outstanding. He is usually taken as an idol by many people who wants to set up their own enterprises.
Henry Ford spent most of his life making headlines, good, bad, but never indifferent. Celebrated as both a technological genius and a folk hero, Ford was the creative force behind an industry of unprecedented size and wealth that in only a few decades permanently changed the economic and social character of the United States. 
The Henry Ford Company was a success from the beginning, but just five weeks after its incorporation the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers threatened to put it out of business because Ford was not a licensed manufacturer. He had been denied a license by this group, which aimed at reserving for its members the profits of what was fast becoming a major industry. The basis of their power was control of a patent granted in 1895 to George Baldwin Selden, a patent lawyer of Rochester, New York. The association claimed that the patent applied to all gasoline-powered automobiles. Along with many rural Midwesterners of his generation, Ford hated industrial combinations and Eastern financial power. Moreover, Ford thought the Selden patent preposterous. All invention was a matter of evolution, he said, yet Selden claimed genesis he was glad to fight, even though the fight pitted the puny Ford evidence and actual court hearings took six years. Ford lost the original case in 1909; he appealed and won in 1911. His victory had wide implications for the industry, and the fight made a Ford a popular hero.
In 1914 the Ford Motor Company announces that it would hence forth pay eligible workers a minimum wage of $ 5 a day (compared to an average of $ 2.34 for the industry) and would reduce the work day from nine hours to eight, thereby converting the factory to a three-shift day. Overnight Ford became a worldwide celebrity. People either praised him as a great humanitarian or excoriated him as a mad socialist. Ford said humanitarianism had nothing to do with it. Previously profit had been based on paying wages as low as workers would take and pricing cars as high as the traffic would bear. Ford, on the other hand, stressed low pricing (the Model T cost $ 950 in 1908 and $ 290 in 1927) in order to capture the widest possible market and then met the price by volume and efficiency. Ford’s success in making the automobile a basic necessity turned out to be but a prelude to a more widespread revolution. The development of mass-production techniques, which enabled the company eventually to turn out a Model T every 24seconds; the frequent reductions in the price of the car made possible by economies of scale; and the payment of a living wage that raised workers above subsistence and made them potential customers for, among other things, automobiles — these innovations changed the structure of society.#p#分页标题#e#
Henry Ford can lead his stuff to overcome the disaster confront his company and earn their trust and respect. His talent in leadership was outstanding.
Sense of leadership is a very important sector for a person who wants to success. An excellent leader must know how to get on well with his fellows, better if he can earn their trust and respect. It’s a rule will never change. Robinson and Ford both have this ability. Wherever they go, they were trusted and respected by their fellows. So they have such great achievement.
 
Ⅲ.Conclusion
Nowadays, Robinson Crusoe has its value of being acknowledged. It is a representative literary work of Enlightenment and the hero Robinson was an image of the right side of capitalist in European Enlightenment. It mirrored the individualism and liberalism of capitalists in their developing period. And it showed the enterprise of elaborating one’s personal wisdom to take chances and seek for wealth. However, our exploration of Robinson Crusoe should not cease here, he was essentially a colonist who survived by exploit others. The nature of capitalists’ exploitation was clearly embodied in his action. But his indomitable spirit of adventurism, his reason, his persistence and fearlessness of fight, his strong sense of leadership have its positive significance in every period of human history.
Robinson was the representative of the bourgeois of the 18th century. It was the time when bourgeois grew stronger and stronger. Defoe paid a tribute to bourgeois by creating such a rational courage, clever and successful man. By studying Robinson Crusoe and some successful contemporary businessmen, we can find there are a lot of strong points as courage, reason, perseverance, sense of leadership in common. Robinson Crusoe is a lighthouse for the ambitious people. He is the pioneer of contemporary businessmen.
 
Bibliography
 
[1]  Defoe Daniel. Robinson Crusoe [M].  London: Wayne State University Press, 1960
[2]  Gillie, Christopher. A Companion to British Literature [M]. Washington: Longman Group Ltd, 1972, 1977
[3]  Louis White   Daniel Defoe[M] USA.  Longman Group Ltd, 1983.
[4]  McGowan, Cynthia. Cliffs Notes on Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe [M]. Printed in U.S.A. 1997.12
[5]  布鲁代尔. 《文明史: 过去解释现在时 资本论丛》 [M]. 顾良,孙慧君   北京:中央编译出版社。1997.12
[6]  丹尼尔.笛福:《鲁滨逊漂流记》,上海:上海世界图书出版公司,2003
[7]   李永 《Michael Dell,全世界最成功的年青人》 南京,江苏教育出版社 2004.1
[8]  刘念兹 等. 《欧美文学简编》[M]. 济南: 山东教育出版社。1982.6#p#分页标题#e#
[9]  陆梅林辑注. 《马克思恩格斯论文学与艺术》[M]. 北京: 人民文学出版社。2002.1
[10] 王燕 等. Business Legend 《商界精英》。 机械工业出版社。2007
[11] 杨家都.  Remarks on Effects of Labor in Robinson Crusoe 

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