Robinson Crusoe belongs to the adventurous novel and some even consider it to be the beginning of that type. The theme is an imaginary autobiography of an English castaway who spent 28 years on a tropical island and lived many adventures. It was published in 1719 and was a success right away. The novel stayed famous up until now, and some believe that it was written from an actual story.
It is considered to be the story of Alexander Selkirk. He’s a Scottish sailor who spent four years on an island and the Chilean government called him Robinson Crusoe.
The novel is about the strength of the human spirit in comparison to nature. The theme is the survival of a castaway on a deserted island and his great persistence and struggles to survive. The author gave specific time limits of the novel, and in the plot, we can see the battle between man and nature.
Robinson Crusoe was born in 1632 in York as the third son. He didn’t have a vocation, so he started to dream of adventures. His father gained a great fortune, and his family belonged to the middle class.
Robinson Crusoe had two brothers. One brother died, and the other one disappeared. Crusoe lived in England and since he didn’t know how to do anything his father asked him to work as a salesman and so inherit half of his lifework. Crusoe wanted to be a sailor. His parents tried to talk him out of it but didn’t succeed.
His childhood went by, and he was always looking at ships. He always wanted to go far away, so he accepted to be a salesman and a sailor. He went on his first sail. It was so terrifying that he changed his mind and decided to ask his father for forgiveness. When the storm settled, and the journey became pleasant, he forgot about that decision.
He was thirsty for money and fame, so he went to Guinea to make a sale. It went successfully, so he moved towards Africa, but the pirates attacked the ship. He spent more than two years in captivity, and after that, he managed to run away on a boat with a boy. After thirty days they were saved by a ship that was going to Brazil.
Captain was kind and helped Robinson. When they came to Brazil, he suggested Robinson visit his friend who had a sugar plantation. Robinson bought some land and started a sugar cane plantation. After four years he went back to the sea. After 12 days of peaceful sailing, the ship encountered a storm. From all of the sailors, only Robinson saved himself.
He ended up on a deserted island and didn’t know where he was, but for him, the only important thing was that he is still alive. He started looking for a shelter and found a cave where he made a calendar so that he would know what year and day it is.
He began making his own clothes and everything else that went to waste with time. He tried to make a boat several times and save himself, but he never succeeded. After a few attempts to run away, he got caught in a storm and barely made it out alive. Unfortunately, the ship that nearby didn't have that luck, and everyone died. The only survivor was a dog who Crusoe named Jack.
Crusoe learned a lot of new things, for example how to hunt. He made some chairs and a table, started a diary, learned how to make different tools. It all kept him from going insane.
In the next four years, he managed to plant some rice and wheat. After he had taken care of food and shelter, he went on exploring the island. He found out that there are turtles on the island. He never gave up his wish to escape the island, so he built another boat. It was too heavy, so he built a canoe to help him sail around the island. When the wind almost carried him to the open sea, he gave up on his escape from the island.
He was taking a walk when he heard some noise and saw a man who was defending himself from the cannibals. Crusoe saved him and because it was Friday he named him Friday. A few months after a ship was attacked by the pirates on the island. Crusoe liberated the ship and the captain who later turned out to be Friday's father.
After that, Robinson went back to England. When he managed to find his father he discovered that his mother was dead. Friday who wasn't used to winter and snow had a tough time adjusting to the weather and Crusoe helped him. In the end, they decided to live together.
The main character, who is also the narrator in the first person. Crusoe's personality is changing, especially since he ended up on a desert island. In his younger days, he felt discomfort and a desire to travel, which is why he was constantly in conflict with his parents who thought he should be satisfied with his life as it is. His father was able to get him to calm down, but it did not last long. At the urging of friends he went on the boat for London and at that moment he began his life of adventures that brought him into all sorts of situations and difficulties. Crusoe experienced several accidents while traveling ships. On his way, he meets an excellent captain who helped him settle in Brazil, where he starts to tend for a sugar plantation.
He decided on another trip to get slaves. He was shipwrecked and ended up on a deserted island as the sole survivor. On the island, he fought for his life, but also for the mental stability that has repeatedly been questioned. Habits and constant work helped him to stay sane. All the time he recalls that there are people who are way worse off and that he only lacked any human society. With a lot of effort and patience, Crusoe managed to survive and eventually get off the island.
Crusoe significantly helped Friday, a savage who was freed from his enemies who were planning to eat him.
Daniel Defoe Biography
Daniel Defoe was born in 1659 in London. He was an English writer and a journalist who got his fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. The novel got popular in Great Britain and between the founders of the English novel. The novel still has its value and interest.
The essential characteristic of his writing is simplicity and conciseness. He created a story with simple and fluent language as if he was literary taking notes of somebody talking. Every one of his novels carried a life lesson.
He wrote over 500 works, brochures, and magazines about different subjects. He published 400 books about various fields in geography, crime, economy and psychology.
He wrote political pamphlets as The True-Born Englishman. Two years later he was arrested and taken to Newgate because of his book The Shortest Way with the Dissenters in which he showed his irony towards the Anglican Church. He died in 1731.
Book reports from Daniel Defoe