In the novel, "Robinson Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe, the main character, Robinson Crusoe, is a middle class, white man from England. Crusoe aspires to become a sailor, and against his father's wishes and advice, he embarks on a journey which ultimately takes him to the other side of the world. On his last expedition, he ends up shipwrecked on a desolate tropical island. For many years, he is alone of the island with no human contact, until one day he witnesses savages chasing a man. Crusoe rescues this man and kills off the savages, and the man, Friday, becomes a companion to him. The relationship that ensues between them is diverse and unbalanced; it brings out the great and lesser qualities of Robinson Crusoe and reveals his racist, colonial, white mindset typical of those times.
Crusoe and Friday's relationship starts off by Crusoe taking him under his wing and protecting him from his fellow savages. Due to this rescue, Friday becomes very loyal towards him and submits. At times, the relationship between the two is almost like father and son, and Crusoe seems to have respect and trust for Friday. However, at other times, it is apparent that Crusoe is the master and Friday is merely his slave. This relationship is made clear in the text, from the moment where Crusoe gives him the name Friday, not caring what his real name may be. Crusoe also insists on being referred to as ˜Master', and Friday never discovers his actual name. This naming showed a certain hierarchy, placing Crusoe above Friday. This shows Crusoe's true nature, coming from an English, Christian background. Friday does not fight this master-slave relationship; in fact, he welcomes it and remains very devote as thanks to Crusoe for saving his life. This is shown when Crusoe states, "at last he lay his Head flat upon the ground, close to my Foot; and sets my other Foot upon his Head to let me know, how he would serve me as long as he liv'd " (Defoe 218).