Compare and contrast the two main characters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Robinson Crusoe

The two characters Huck Finn and Robinson Crusoe are interesting to compare to one another in that their identities are each very largely shaped by their beliefs. The only difference that can be obviously pointed out between the two in terms of this is that Crusoe’s identity is shaped in a negative way, while Huck’s a positive. However, it is notable to state that the authors themselves may not have manipulated their characters in this way – this is at least true on Defoe’s part. In other words, Defoe was a Calvinist and thus, any negative portrayal of organised religion in his novel is most likely only so because of our contemporary perception of said religion. That is, Defoe was in no way trying to make formal religion look as though it encouraged cruelty or ignorance, but he seemed to communicate this anyway. Mark Twain, though, rejected organised religion and criticised many elements of Christianity, which makes sense as this is exactly the same mentality Huck has in the novel. Thus, whether they were aware of it or not, Twain and Defoe both used components of their own religious identity in order to shape that of their characters.

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