Defoe on the one hand and Dryden and Pope on the other illustrate the more radical divisions of the Augustan period. In his novels, Defoe takes the world as he finds it, and makes only intermittent attempts to impose patterns or values upon it: he is near to being the first truly empiricist writer in English literature. He is not interested in verisimilitude for its own sake, however: the realism in his novels is to a large extent the expression of an unconscious interest, present throughout his fiction, in the idea of survival, and in putting his heroes in positions where that interest is central. This can be brought out by comparison with a genre in which the motif of survival is paramount — science fiction.


Moral Issue Science Fiction Psychological Continuum Human Feeling Augustan Period 
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  1. 31.
    See also Defoe, The Review, VIII, no. 75 (15 Sep 1711), quoted in Selected Writings, p. 131:Google Scholar

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© C. N. Manlove 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. N. Manlove
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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