From Self-Reliance to Self-Actualization in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Thoreau’s Walden

Nadia Hamendi


This study aims at tracing how the concept of self –reliance as found in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Thoreau’s Walden offer two different paths to achieving self-actualization. It shows that though both believed man starts his journey to self-actualization from the point of self- reliance, Crusoe methodically followed Maslow’s five stages of human needs, while Thoreau steps from stage one to stage five directly for he believed that only by depending on nature for one’s basic needs can he then develop his higher potentialities. Thus, while for Defoe self-reliance was a means, for Thoreau it was an end in itself.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)   E-mail:

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