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Scholarly Article

Injamamul Sarwer

Power as an Identity Determining Factor in Robinson Crusoe


power, agency, hegemony, postcolonial identity, psychoanalysis


This paper investigates the role of power in determining the identities of different characters in Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) basically from a postcolonial lens and based on the social identity theory by Henri Tajfel and John C. Turner. Apart from analysing the relationship between the protagonist Crusoe and the other characters, the paper also contains some psychoanalytic interpretations of some significant events. Moreover, to demonstrate the influence of power in defining positions of hierarchy, an analogy has been drawn between the co-existence of Crusoe and Friday in the deserted island with two objects of different temperatures kept in contact where a change is inevitable in any one of the two and where the agency is determined by the temperature referring to power.

About the Author

Injamamul Sarwer is a Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Asia Pacific,

Dhaka, Bangladesh He may be contacted at

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