The Complication of the Interpretive Process in Robinson Crusoe and Foe

Publication Year



Literature, Robinson Crusoe, Foe, interpretation, narrative


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Fiction


This essay must begin somewhere, as must J.M. Coetzee's novel, Foe. This does not, however, revoke the ability and the necessity of each to question the notion of beginning. Foe explores this notion in several ways. One way to begin our exploration is to ask where Foe begins. An obvious response is: with its first words, " 'At last I could row no further.' " Even this answer puts the notion of beginning into question. Two sets of quotation marks surround it. The character in the position of narrator has written these words after the fact. The action of rowing is doubly placed in the past. The subject has not only already rowed, but has also already written.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing

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