In this thesis we have done a research about the Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, and the connection existing between him and the fictitious character Robinson Crusoe, created by Daniel Defoe. We have described the way in which Selkirk survived on a deserted island near Chile for about 4 years and 4 months, and how he was rescued and taken to England by a group of English privateers. The extraordinary things he had to do in order to dress and feed himself, during his solitude on the island, are also explained in this thesis.
This true story moved the British writer Daniel Defoe to create what we consider as the first novel ever written, The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Many of the things that can be found in this literary masterpiece are clearly taken from the real life of Alexander Selkirk, and others, of course, are expanded and invented. We analyzed all these similarities and differences between both stories, making a contrast between real life and fictitious facts.
This thesis contains information about how popular Defoe’s novel became at the time it was published. It also provides a clear definition of what a novel is and its types. Finally, we have also discussed the reasons why we think Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is, in our opinion, the first example of the novel. We believe that this thesis can be read by people of all ages, who can be either students or scholars, too.
Licenciada en Ciencias de la Educación en la Especialización de Lengua y Literatura Inglesa