In both Robinson Crusoe and The Tempest, the islands that the characters are stranded on or native to create a very interesting dynamic that includes slavery, colonialism, striving for order, a thirst to rule the island, and an overall superiority complex.
In the Tempest, Prospero takes over the island despite the fact the Caliban was already there. Prospero views Caliban as an inferior savage which is common in many real life conquests of already occupied lands. Robinson Crusoe has this same idea about the cannibalistic natives that are on the island he is marooned on. Robinson is not as cruel to his slave Friday as Prospero is to Caliban, but Robinson works on assimilating Friday and completely disregards Friday’s previous name, language, and religion. Crusoe is slightly more ethnocentric, but overall he treats Friday as a companion which differs greatly from how Prospero treats Caliban.
Another theme that involves the island in both stories is that both Prospero and Crusoe want to rule the island and create a sense of hierarchy and order that was not originally present. In both the Tempest and Robinson Crusoe, there are already people living on the island, yet both Crusoe and Prospero feel entitled to rule the island. This shows the attitude of European colonists at the time. They felt they had more rights to rule than the native people because the natives of these lands were not as “human.” In the Tempest, even Stephano wants to completely take over the island and be the “king” of the island. Even when the captain comes to the island that Crusoe is on, he refers to Crusoe as the governor of the island as opposed to the natives. These examples of European men feeling entitled to rule the island they are stranded on is very ethnocentric and this complex is very evident in both The Tempest and Robinson Crusoe.