Colonialism as Depicted in Victorian Literature Comparison Essay by Nicky

Colonialism as Depicted in Victorian Literature
A discussion of how colonialism is depicted in Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness."
# 128021 | 1,743 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jun 24, 2010 in Literature (English)

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This paper compares the representations of colonialism as depicted in two English novels, Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." The paper begins with a discussion of how colonial practices have contributed to the basis of numerous literary works, with many writings emerging during the Victorian period. This is followed by an analysis of imperialism as seen in the character of Robinson Crusoe. The paper continues with a plot summary of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and reveals several conflicting feelings relative to colonialism. The paper concludes by stating that both literary works fit the pattern of colonial writing, as they deal with characters indoctrinated in the conquering spirit of the British Empire.

Robinson Crusoe
Heart of Darkness

From the Paper:

"Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was first published in 1719 and it was inspired from the experience of a Scot, who lived for four years on a deserted island. Robinson Crusoe is the typical son of imperialism; his wealthy parents want him to become a businessman but he chooses a life at sea. His attempts are crushed as he is shipwrecked on a deserted island (he calls it the Island of Despair), where he will live for the next 28 years. He learns how to grow corn, raise goats and make pottery; he reads the Bible and becomes a convinced Christian. His time on the island is mostly used for meditation and teaching Friday the English ways. Here we begin to see the English influence in the novel."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowers, Terence. "Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Dante's Inferno." The Explicator. 2004, 62.2. Gale Resource Database. Site Accessed October 19, 2008
  • Caldwell, Tracy. "Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe.'" Literary Contexts in Novels. EBSCO Resource Database. Information Retrieved October 17, 2008
  • Conrad, J., Heart of Darkness, Digireads, 2005
  • Defoe, D., Robinson Crusoe, Evans Brothers, 2001
  • Donoghue, Frank. "Inevitable politics: Rulership and Identity in Robinson Crusoe." GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved October 18, 2008.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Colonialism as Depicted in Victorian Literature (2010, June 24) Retrieved May 28, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Colonialism as Depicted in Victorian Literature" 24 June 2010. Web. 28 May. 2022. <>