Rescue and submission

Friday is an important character in Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. He is the first human being Robinson interacts with after many years, and his relationship with Robinson is worth analyzing. 

After having already lived alone on the Caribbean island for 23 years, Robinson discovers nine savages camped around a fire on the beach. He watches them dance until they leave the island again a short time later. About a year and a half later, Robinson discovers another group of about 30 man-eaters on his island. He observes how the cannibals want to prepare a few prisoners for a feast.

One of the prisoners suddenly escapes and runs towards Robinson, who kills his pursuers. The rescued man is so grateful for his safety that he throws himself on the ground in front of Robinson and expresses his gratitude through gestures. He immediately submits to Robinson and from then on becomes a loyal and devoted servant. Robinson says of him, “I daresay he would have sacrificed his life to save mine upon any occasion whatsoever” (Chapter 14, 89%).

Robinson takes in the frightened fugitive after they bury the two cannibals. He calls the young man “Friday” because his rescue happened on that day. His real name is not mentioned in the narrative. Robinson gives him clothes and food.

Friday is tall and slim, about 26 years old, has long black hair and olive skin that gives a friendly impression. His face is round and full with a small nose and a nicely shaped mouth. His teeth are very white and even. Friday's dark eyes are very beautiful and appear lively (Chapter 14, 68%).


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