Robinson Crusoe belongs to the adventurous type of 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 actually written by a true story.
It is considered to be the story of Alexander Selkirk. He’s a Scottish sailor who spent 4 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 hi unusual persistence and struggle to survive. The author gave exact 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 2 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 successful so he moved towards Africa but the ship was attacked by the pirates. He spent more than two years in captivity and after that he managed to runaway 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 to 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 started 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 was 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 4 years he managed to plant some rice and wheat. After he took 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 to heavy so he build 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 considering the fact that 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 Fridays father.
After that Robinson went back to England. When he managed to find his father he found out that his mother was dead. Friday who was 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.
Author: Daniel Defoe biography