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ERIC Number: EJ776415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
Considering "Robinson Crusoe's Liberty of Conscience" in an Age of Terror
Cooney, Brian C.
College English, v69 n3 p197-215 Jan 2007
This essay explores a reading of "Robinson Crusoe" that suggests the novel has taken on new gravity after the first "preemptive" war in U.S. history, a war justified by the attempt to "spread freedom" to Iraq. It examines how Crusoe comes to understand the relationship between the state and the individual. Robinson Crusoe demonstrates that John Locke's principle of tolerance actually entails exclusions, for Crusoe ultimately destroys the cannibals to protect his supposedly liberal order. This paradox has implications for the current war in Iraq, where the United States government invokes the ideal of freedom while insisting on its own particular vision of democracy. Crusoe teaches us that freedom imposed is limited and potentially involves the sacrifice of something fundamental to the subject's identity. (Contains 16 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq; United States