Being Human in the Wor(l)d: Chinese Men and Maxine Hong Kingston's Reworking of Robinson Crusoe

Academic Article


  • Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe is nothing less than a nationalist narrative that extols the burgeoning capitalism of eighteenth-century England. In this moving tale, a ship-wrecked slave trader, stranded on an island for twenty-four-years, single-handedly consolidates the arduous and multi-tasked feat of making bread – from planting the wheat to producing the finished product – into a one-person job. On a smaller but no less devastating scale, he also succeeds in replicating the process of colonization through his master–slave relationship with Friday. The novel thus popularizes the notion of self-sufficiency through the mechanisms of capitalism, conquest, and the transmission of hegemony.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • August 2000
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • 0000 0004 5875 3523
  • 1900-1999
  • China Men(1980)
  • Robinson Crusoe(1719)
  • American literature
  • Chinese American men
  • Defoe, Daniel(1660-1731)
  • Kingston, Maxine Hong(1940- )
  • economic metaphor
  • parody
  • prose
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 187
  • End Page

  • 206
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 2