Assuming these illustrations of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe depict Friday as the servant-figure dwelling near Crusoe’s feet, I would undoubtedly identify Picture 2 by Ansell-Barolow as the most accurate depiction of the relationship between the protagonist and the native. In this particular representation of Crusoe and Friday, the Master appears to have a kinder, gentler facial expression than the ones expressed in the other illustrations, and the way he tenderly reaches out to Friday conveys a sense of parental guidance and elevation. Furthermore, Crusoe’s position in this drawing – as he blocks a native celebration in the background – suggests that he is stepping in as a positive, Christian force in the midst of barbarism.
While Friday and Crusoe certainly have a complicated association with one another, the overarching theme that in many ways defines their relationship is a paternal one; while Friday is initially dubbed the servant for Crusoe, their relationship develops into one in which the Master educates the servant, and in turn, becomes invested in the well-being and growth of his pseudo-son. Crusoe describes the loving bond that Friday forges with him: “…for never man had a more faithful, loving, sincere servant than Friday was to me; without passions, sullenness, or designs, perfectly obliged and engaged; his very affections were tied to me like those of a child to a father; and I dare say he would have sacrificed his life for the saving mine, upon any occasion whatsoever.” The passages which reveal Crusoe’s affection for Friday are not nearly as explicit, yet their latency communicates a far more intimate connection. As Friday sleeps, Crusoe observes, “He had a very good Countenance…and yet he had all the Sweetness and Softness of an European in his Countenance too, especially when he smil’d. His Hair was long and black, not curl’d like Wool; his Forehaed very high, and large, and a great Vivacity and sparkling Sharpness in his Eyes. The Coulour of his Skin was not quite black…but of bright kind of a dun olive Colour, that had in it something very agreeable; tho’ not very easy to describe.” His intimacy with Friday seems to stem from a sense of kinship and familiarity with what he comes to see in his converted and educated servant. Therefore, it is clear that out of the illustrations presented, the one which represents Crusoe as a guiding light and father-figure for Friday is most appropriate.