What is the ultimate goal of life? Some people would say it is to live every day to the fullest and not worry about seeing tomorrow. Others are determined to build wealth or leave something behind in hopes they are remembered. However, it seems the most important goal in life, which is often overlooked, is to make intimate connections with others. It doesn’t matter who you are, you crave and long for a connection with another living person.
Connections are formed starting at a very young age. Children are dependent on their parents for everything and parents feel responsible to give their children everything. There is a direct biological link between parents and children. It is also important to note that a child is a physical representation of the connection between mother and father. However, this alone is not enough and we search out our own links. Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Frankensteinall display this search for others.
Robinson Crusoe is unique because it allows readers to see what someone truly craves when it is gone. Crusoe landed on the island with little to nothing and was entirely alone. He was able to build and salvage everything he needed to survive. There was one thing though that he desired above everything else, the company of another person. Crusoe says, “I cannot explain by an possible Energy of Words, what a strange longing or hankering of Desires I felt in my Soul upon this Sight; breaking out sometimes thus; O that there had been but one or two; nay, or but one Soul sav’d out of this Ship, to have escap’d to me, that I might but have had one Companion, one Fellow-Creature to have spoken to me, and to have convers’d with! In all the Time of my solitary Life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a Desire after the Society of my Fellow-Creatures, or so deep a Regret at the want of it.” Crusoe had always longed for adventure and wanted it at all costs. He sacrificed his family for his desires, only to long for the company of a stranger. Defoe writes, “Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them.” Crusoe was one of those people.
In contrast to Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, andFrankensteinall have characters which have never truly experienced what it’s liked to be truly loved by someone. Jane Eyre was an orphan who was sent away to an awful boarding school by her Aunt. She falls in love with Rochester only to discover that he is already married. Jane later trades three quarters of her inheritance just to be a part of a family. She had been poor all of her life, but a family was worth more to her than money. Charlotte Bronte wrote, “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”
Antoinette Cosway is similar to Jane Eyre in many ways. Antoinette was treated poorly during her childhood. Her father was dead and her mother constantly yelled at her. Although Antoinette gained a large inheritance from her step father, she still longed to be with someone. She gave up her entire wealth to be with Rochester. She even asked for the help of voodoo so he would love her once more.
The last example of an innate desire for personal connection and sense of fulfillment is Frankenstein. The creature was created from random pieces and brought to life in an unnatural way. He was cast away by everyone because of his dreadful appearance. Through observation and learning, the creature was able to understand his wish for a mate, someone to make a connection. A creature born of unnatural circumstances, lacking in age and experience, was able to feel and determine the need for another.
These four different texts were written at different times, different locations, and by authors of different backgrounds, but all of them point to a desire of acceptance and need of another. Everything people do is caused by an underlying desire to feel linked to another person. Although wealth or adventure is what everyone tries to obtain, they would quickly trade it when they are completely alone.