Daniel Dafoe Robinson Crusoe: Book Review

Categories: Robinson Crusoe

If you were stranded on an island, what items would you take with you is the question everyone hears at least once in their lifetime. For your Crusoe moment any answer other than a boat, a knife and water would be unwise since if you know that you would be stranded on an island no use in opting for a book, sunscreen and swimsuit. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe is one of the early examples of modern English Literature and is a backbone for several movies and television series.

Youngest of 3 brothers Crusoe is a son of a merchant who is from Bremen. Crusoe’s only desire in life is to sail and see the World. But his father disapproves of his plans.

His father wants him to choose ‘the life of ease, middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, neither poverty nor riches.

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’ After one year, although his parents do not consent, he cannot withstand the desire to sail and with a last-minute decision he jumps on a friend’s ship that sets sail from Hull to London. Shortly after the ship is caught up in a storm, the experience horrifies him and he starts to have second thoughts about sailing he prays God to spare his life but as soon as the weather clears he pulls himself together forgets all the pledges he made.

After several days, storm hits again and he is terrified, this time the ship sinks and the crew is picked up by another ship.

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After some time, he decides to board on another ship that sails to Africa but they are attacked by Turkish pirates and taken captive. Crusoe spends two years in Morocco in his master’s house and helps him with chores which include fishing for him. One day master sends Crusoe, Xury and a Moor fishing. They throw the Moor overboard, Xury pledges to Crusoe and they escape with the boat.

They come across a Portuguese slave ship in Cape de Verde and Crusoe sells his boat and Xury to the captain. The ship sails to Brazil, Crusoe buy a plantation and becomes a middle-class man in few years. At this point Crusoe thinks that he could have all of that in England without having faced all the troubles. ‘I was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of low life, which my father advised me to before, and which, if I resolved to go on with, I might as well have stayed at home, and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done.’ Planters ask Crusoe to purchase some slaves for them, he accepts and sails to Africa. The ship sinks and Crusoe is stranded as the sole survivor.

Crusoe spends 28 years on the island, but little does he know at that point. In the first weeks, he carries whatever he can save from the shipwreck. He builds shelter, a table and chair, he has a dog, two cats and a parrot. Crusoe starts to cultivate and he is keeping a journal. At this point religion plays a big role in his life, Crusoe has lots of time to think and for self-actualization, the island has become some sort of awakening getaway for him with all its abundance and solitude. The things he defined as evil now seem good to him. With his pets that he resembles to his family members he lives almost a ‘luxurious’ life for years in his several ‘estates’ on the island.

One day he finds a foot print on the island and this terrifies him. After some time, he understands that these belong to cannibal natives from the mainland and they come to the island for rituals. He decides to hide and not interfere with them. He finds human remains where the cannibals set bonfire. After several years, they again show up with two victims. One of them starts to run and this time Crusoe acts out and helps him by shooting the cannibals.

Crusoe take the man to the cave and names him Friday. Crusoe teaches him English and asks Friday to call him Master than teaches him new skills and converts him to Christianity. In Crusoe’s own words he describes his feelings as; ‘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.’

Crusoe and Friday build a boat together to go the mainland and save the prisoners from the cannibals. In the end, they execute a rescue mission and by shooting cannibals they rescue a Spanish who pledges to Crusoe because if he returns he is afraid to face inquisition. They also set other men from the boat and one of them is Friday’s father. They are all at Crusoe’s island and in vanity Crusoe thinks how he resembles a King with his subjects and dominion over them. One day they spot a ship, there are 11 men and three of them are the captives. Later Crusoe learns that there was a mutiny and one of three captives is the commander of the ship. Crusoe helps him to get his ship back by giving them guns and the captain pledges to Crusoe as well.

Updated: Feb 19, 2024
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Daniel Dafoe Robinson Crusoe: Book Review. (2024, Feb 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/daniel-dafoe-robinson-crusoe-book-review-essay

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