The “primitive” Friday demonstrates exceedingly good values superiorto those of the “civilized” Crusoe.
Friday’s honesty, loyalty, andnatural innocence are unequaled by Crusoe’s deceptiveness, lack of trust inFriday, and pessimistic ideas. Early life in “civilization” givesCrusoe preconceptions that don’t allow for simple, natural thinking. Yet,Friday, raised as a “savage”, is given to simple childlike behavior. When compared with Crusoe, Friday triumphs with his good-natured morals. Friday’s honesty is apparent, not only to the reader, but also to Crusoe. Crusoe’s own description of Friday is evidence of this, “I had a singularsatisfaction in the fellow himself: his simple, unfeigned honesty appeared to memore and more every day”(148).
Crusoe specifies Friday’s honesty as”simple” and “unfeigned”. It seems Crusoe would haveexpected a “savage” to be misleading, also a sign of hispreconceptions. Again, when Crusoe is jealous of Friday at his expression of joyat the thought of his own country, Crusoe “found everything he said was sohonest and so innocent, that I could find nothing to nourish mysuspicion”(152). Crusoe’s jealousy stems from his “civilized”thinking, and Friday’s pure expression of truth comes from his”primitive” ways. Yet, when Friday surprises Crusoe with a simple andinnocent question Crusoe “pretended not to hear him”(150). Crusoe issurprised and attempts to deceive Friday to forget the question.
It seemsCrusoe’s natural reaction in that situation is to lie. Friday has an honestythat Crusoe cannot compete with. In everything that Friday says and does, herelates only the truth because Friday does not know differently. Furthermore,part of this honesty comes from Friday’s deep loyalty to Crusoe.
Friday’sservitude to Crusoe is demonstrated immediately after his rescue when Friday puthis head on the ground and put Crusoe’s foot on his head. From that point on,Friday is completely loyal to Crusoe. After a good while, Crusoe is even awareof this fact, “I daresay he would have sacrificed his life to save mineupon any occasion whatsoever”(147). Yet, Crusoe doesn’t trust Friday,”While my jealousy of him lasted, you may be sure I was every day pumpinghim, to see if he would discover any of the new thoughts which I suspected werein him”(152), he thinks Friday would leave and become a cannibal andCrusoe. Crusoe later realizes his mistake, “the honest, gratefulcreature.
. . to my full satisfaction”(153). Next, Crusoe doesn’t trust Fridayin the beginning and places him outside to sleep, “I had placed a kind oftrap door. . .
every night”(145). Crusoe again is blinded by his”civilized” thoughts and thinks Friday may attempt to kill and eathim. Eventually Crusoe knows better, “For never man had a more faithful,loving, sincere, servant than Friday was to me: without passions, sullenness, ordesigns, perfectly obliged and engaged; his very affections were tied to me,like those of a child to a father”(145). Crusoe describes Friday as theperfect servant, almost like a father to a son.
Friday would give his life forCrusoe, yet Crusoe distrusts him. Only Crusoe’s “civilized” andtherefore evil thoughts on humanity could cause him to distrust such an honestservant. Crusoe spent time in “civilization” and thinks about thingsin an experienced, and rather pessimistic way. Friday, on the other hand, isinnocent of society and hasn’t been taught anyway to think. Crusoe believes thatman has a tendency to do evil, “the devil. .
. cause us to run upon ourdestruction by our own choice”(150). He thinks anyone, especially a”savage” would be tempted by the devil. Yet when he tries to explainto Friday about the devil, Crusoe exposes Friday’s pure and natural innocence,”but there appeared nothing of this kind in the notion of an evil spirit,of his origin, his being, his nature, and above all, of his inclination to doevil, and to draw us in to do so too”(150). Friday is very pure and simpleperson.
He boldly asks questions about God, “if God much stronger, muchmight as the wicked devil, why God no kill the devil, so make him no more dowicked”(150). Friday had “listened with great seriousness” andnow had thought with his pure and simple mind, and baffled Crusoe “I scarceknew what to say to him”(150). All of Friday’s questions and thoughts onGod are natural and simple, owing to his “primitive” upbringing. Friday surmounts and even shocks Crusoe in his honesty, loyalty, and innocence. Friday manifests all of his qualities to a point beyond Crusoe, because Fridayembraces these values with a “primitive” sense, not tainted by”civilization”. It seems that “civilization” is not what itshould be, and a “savage” has more of the qualities that a”civilized” man should have.
It brings up a question to society tolook at itself, and see what it is producing in people: values ormisconceptions?