“Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe is an adventurous and interesting story about a man’s life, journey, and experiences on a deserted island. Defoe writes this popular story in 1719, making it one of the first survival stories of its kind (CUNY.edu). The story begins by telling about the life of Robinson Crusoe, an Englishmen, who wants to travel and sail, but is convinced by his father to stay in England and study. Robinson eventually changes his mind, and decides to go against his father’s wishes and go out to sea. As Robinson goes out to sea, his adventures, journey, and troubles begin.
On his first voyage out to sea, a terrible storm hits and they are almost shipwrecked. This is an event which foreshadows and predicts the negative things that will occur to Robinson when he goes out to sea. It seems that almost every time he goes out to sea, he has an adventure or near death experience. After spending time in London, Africa, and Brazil, Robinson decides that he wants to go out to sea again to gather slaves in the slave trade. On this trip, he is shipwrecked on a deserted island, and he is the only survivor. The rest of the book is spent explaining how Robinson spent the next 27 years on the island. He did not have very many survival skills in the beginning, so he spends a great deal of time in the book showing how he learns to survive in the wild. Much of the book details his day to day life, including what he writes in his journal, and how he eventually gets saved and returns to England to enjoy all of his successes.
Within the book, some readers may find that Robinson’s experiences are tedious and repetitive. There is only so much excitement that can happen when one person is stranded alone on an island. Some of the measurements and numbers that are explained within the book can be tedious and boring to the reader. Defoe seems to include many details that seem unimportant to the reader, which can make the book a slow read. Yet, at many points within the book, there are exciting situations that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Each time that Robinson goes out to sea, he experiences some sort of adventure. The reader is constantly surprised at how Defoe keeps the plot interesting and motivating.
One of the most difficult aspects about reading this book is the language. Many readers might not be familiar with the type of English that was spoken and written during this time, and this can make reading the book a bit difficult. While the reader may be able to quickly figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words, it still slows down the process of reading and can make the book somewhat tedious. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the way that it describes a true survivor story, which is a concept that is still very popular in books and television today. Some readers may find Robinson’s survival skills, experiences with nature, and interactions with cannibals very fascinating. It is also very interesting to see how Robinson changes from the beginning of the book, through his experiences on the island, and then after when he finally gets rescued. Overall, “Robinson Crusoe,” by Daniel Defoe, is a very interesting and adventure-filled story which depicts Robinson’s many journeys and his survival on the island.
CUNY.edu. “Daniel Defoe”. The Publication of Robinson Crusoe. 19 Sept 2012. Retrieved from http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/novel_18c/defoe/
Defoe, Daniel. “Robinson Crusoe”. New York: Norton, 1994.