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Comparing the Fifth Child and Robinson Crusoe


In the novels The Fifth Child and Robinson Crusoe there are characters that feel trapped and have a strong desire to escape. This leads to a vast amount of positive and negative effects on the characters. In The Fifth Child,Harriet and Ben have the feeling of entrapment. While in Robinson Crusoe, Friday and Crusoe have the feeling of entrapment.
In The Fifth Child, Ben and Harriet feel trapped. Harriet is stuck between the decision of leaving Ben inside the insane institution or removing Ben from the institution but then she would be facing hatred from her family. Harriet's family hatred is brought up from Ben's aggressive and killing behavior. Ben feels trapped in The Fifth Child because he is put in an insane institution. While in the insane institution, Ben was mistreated and drugged. Ben could have died from being sedated all the time and being kept in unsanitary conditions. In Robinson Crusoe, Friday and Crusoe feel trapped. Both Crusoe and Friday are trapped on an island. Crusoe is ship wrecked on the island and Friday was already on the island trapped there by cannibals. Crusoe wishes to get off the island. While Friday just wants to be free.

In The Fifth Child, Ben despises the thought of living in the institution. Ben's family feels safer because Ben destructive behavior is being contained in the institution. Harriet does not have to constantly monitor Ben's behavior. While in Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe has a great deal of alone time to learn just about anything to an extent. On the island Crusoe learns skills such a pottery. Crusoe got to make his own home underground and also to repent his sins. Friday really has nothing good while being stuck on the island until Crusoe saves him. After that, Crusoe saves more people on the island and makes his own colony on the island.

In The Fifth Child, the negative effects of Ben being stuck in the insane institution are Ben can not go anywhere. While in the insane institution Ben is kept in unsanitary conditions and is sedated quite often. Harriet was grief-stricken the entire time Ben was in the insane institution because Ben is one of her own and she cares deeply for him. Later on she takes Ben out of the insane institution and her family hates her. Paul was extremely frantic at Harriet for removing Ben from because Ben takes up all of Harriet's time and now Harriet has no time for Paul. So Paul begins to act up as just as badly as Ben did to gain some attention. While in Robinson Crusoe, Friday is trapped on the island with a group of cannibals' who are going to consume him. Crusoe is stuck on the island alone till he meets Friday and the cannibals'.

The novels The Fifth Child and Robinson Crusoe have characters that experience positive and negative experiences. In The Fifth Child, Ben and Harriet have a great deal of family dilemma and in Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe and Friday is stuck on the island. In The Fifth Child, Ben has time to relax but never does and in Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe has time to learn skills such as pottery. In the Fifth Child, Harriet feels remorse for leaving Ben in the insane institution and in Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe is stuck on the island.

Works Cited

"Doris Lessing - The Fifth Child." Scribd. Web. 02 Sept. 2009.

Daniel, Defoe,. Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (B&N Classics). New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003. Print.

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