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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Lawrence J. Osborne


Daniel Defoe, separated from the society of the majority of English people of his time by his religion and his low social status, was concerned with isolation in the lives of the characters in his novels. The solitude of Robinson Crusoe has been frequently discussed, but the characters in other novels have not been studied in much detail nor have the characters been studied as a group of isolated with similar characteristics.

The purpose of the following study is to determine what characteristics Defoe’s isolates have in common, what attitude Defoe had toward solitude and the isolates, and what effect Defoe’s personal seclusion had on his fiction as represented by the four novels Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, Captain Singleton, and Roxana.

The oslated selected for the study are two men: Robinson Crusoe and Captain Singleton, and two women: Moll Flanders and Roxana. All of these characters are at some time separated from the society acceptable to the majority of citizens by place of residence, by religious belief, by social status, by economic conditions, and by psychological factors. The chapter following will be devoted to the study of the causes and effects of isolation.





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