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Robinson Crusoe


First published in 1719 under the title;

"The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. Mariner; who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an uninhabited Island on the coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pirates. Written by Himself."

This novel is loosely based on the life and story of Scotsman Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721). He went to sea on the galleon Cinque Ports in 1703 under privateer William Dampier. After fears that their vessel had become unseaworthy (indeed it did sink shortly thereafter), Selkirk asked to be put ashore on one of the uninhabited Juan Fernández islands -- now called Robinson Crusoe Island -- about 400 miles off the west coast of Chile, South America. Selkirk was rescued in 1709 by Woodes Rogers (c.1679-1732). Rogers went on to write A cruising voyage round the world: first to the South-Sea, thence to the East-Indies, and homewards by the Cape of Good Hope (1712) which contained the first account of Selkirk's ordeal.

Sequels to this story are The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; Being the Second and Last Part of His Life, And of the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels Round three Parts of the Globe. Written by Himself. To which is added a Map of the World, in which is Delineated the Voyages of Robinson Crusoe (1719), and Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe

Hi friends, here is a clear example of what you can achieve with a habit of good behaviour in a form of a book. Daniel Defoe had written many books which everyone liked to read. Among them one is 'The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe' which comes in a category of must read books. My friends often discuss with me about each chapter of this book which I find as a very interesting thing. I am a great fan of this book and I request each and everyone who is reading this book to understand every line and read instead of going through simply. I hope that everyone understood at least a little bit through this introduction. Thank you for reading it.--Submitted by Shivangi

This is a must read for a teenager or a school-goer. This has all the ingredients necessary to keep an action lover spell bound. Though this was written nearly 2.5 centuries ago, this is very much readable for the present day generation. In this book we see the 'hero' Robinson Crusoe, a youngster, hungry for a life of adventure, sick of his 'comfortable position in his father's house. Thus he is an angry young man. He runs away from his home once in search of thrilling experience. He faces many odds at sea, but returns successful with gold dust and sets up a plantation in Brazil. This short stint turns his head and when a few estate owners request that he go to Guinea to bring a few slaves, whom they could share among themselves, he jumps at the idea. When they propose to him that they will pay for his passage and look after his lands he is more than ready to go. This voyage is star-crossed. His ship is caught in a violent storm and he is thrown on a strange island. Here he is forced to live for 28 years on his own. Everything he has, he makes scratch. The clothes he wears are made from goat skins, goats he breeds for his food. He builds a raft, a boat, and a ship on his own. He develops his own calender and his own ways of counting days. He grows crops, prepares furniture etc. He even trains a 'savage' to speak English. At last he reaches his plantation in Brazil, very old, matured and without any slaves. Then he gets married and has children. This this is an action-packed, thrilling story.--Submitted by O.R.Prakash, Lecturer, Mangalore, Karnataka

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Recent Forum Posts on Robinson Crusoe

The first novel

I was a bit surprised to read that Robinson Crusoe is often considered to be the first English novel. So, what is the definition of a novel? Were there novels in other languages before then, Don Quixote, for example? What about the Canterbury Tales or Morte 'Arthur? Was Morte d'Arthur written in French btw? Mebbe the Normans still wrote French back then. What about the Aeneid? Could that be considered a novel?

Robinson Crusoe and The Martian

I am quite enjoying Robinson Crusoe. At first I wondered whether it was going to be any good. Something dramatic would happen to Crusoe, then something else, then something else. I wondered whether its reputation was mainly the result of being first English novel. It got better after he was shipwrecked. Daniel Defoe based the story on the experiences of a Scottish castaway called Alexander Selkirk. I am reading it now because I recently read a sci-fi book called The Martian, which was described as like Robinson Crusoe on Mars. One of the reviews said it was like Robinson Crusoe written by someone much smarter, which irked me. The Martian is a good sci-fi book and should make a decent film. It is very strong on the science and is plausible except for the sandstorm at the beginning which cuts him off from his crew. However, I would not call it great literature. I think the writing in Robinson Crusoe is better. They are both hard working. Mark Watney is a much more capable person than Crusoe, which is partly why I find it easier to relate to Crusoe. For example, Crusoe spends a long time trying to make a wheel barrow, but has to give up because he can't make an axle for it, so he makes a builder's hob instead. Another example is he spends hours making a table, but he is not very happy with it. Mark Watney otoh works out how to make water from hydrazine rocket fuel, and how to get a transmitter from a decades old probe working. I reflected on that rather bitterly on a day when I could not unscrew the pedal on my bicycle or unblock my sink.

Robinson Crusoe's attitude to slavery

SPOILERS I never realised before that Robinson Crusoe was on a journey to Africa to acquire slaves for his and his friends' Brazilian plantations when he became shipwrecked. He does not seem to think there is much wrong about it either. At one point he thinks to himself: I had great reason to consider it a determination from Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner I should end my life; the tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections, and sometimes I would expostulate with my self, Why Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandon'd, so entirely depress'd. that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life. It is even odder since he had been a slave himself. A captain had allowed him to sail with them free of charge (although he was not required to do any work). Unfortunately Moorish pirates attacked their ship and they could not be prevented from boarding. The pirate leader must have liked the look of young Robinson's jib, because he kept him as his own slave, while all the other sailors were sent up country. Crusoe appears to have been given relatively light duties, such as catching fish. Crusoe manages to escape by stealing his master's boat with another boy called Xury, whom he was obliged to sell to a Portuguese slaver for sixty Pieces of Eight when they were picked up off the coast of the Verde Islands iirc. To be fair to Crusoe, he felt a bit bad about it, but the Portuguese captain had been so generous to him, it was difficult to refuse. Later when Crusoe goes on his slave acquiring mission, he brings "such toys as were fit for our trade with the Negroes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissars, hatchets, and the like." Sixty Pieces of Eight for Xury is pretty expensive in that light, which makes me wonder why the captain was so generous to the young man.

Robinson Crusoe's belief in God

I just completed Defoe's classic novel, Robinson Crusoe and while the adventure was quite intriguing, I couldn't help noticing how much emphasis the author has put on the existence and omnipotence of God through Crusoe. Personally, I have an unwavering belief in the existence as well as omnipotence of God but I wanted to know especially from our atheist friends here how they rate the book and what are their views about it.

Robinson Crusoe

any text's recommendation or summaries i don't know any thing about this novel:d and i have to study it in a week, so i need any good summary 4 it

Robinson Crusoe

So whats up with Robinson Crusoe, and what do you guys think of its author Daniel Defoe? Ive almost finished reading Two Years Before the Mast and this book has come up again. Ive seen this book referenced in other books too, but no one seems to be talking about it anymore. Why is this? I guess what im asking is, since im interested in reading the book, how did some of you like it, and do you think its good enough for me to give it a try?

Robinson Crusoe, What did you think?

Well I just finished reading Robinson Crusoe earlier today and I found it very enjoyable. It was pretty much an account of an extended period of his life from the age of maturity until he was about 60. (I think) A lot of this time was spent on the island and I found it a simple, yet interesting read. The book was adventure filled without going over the top like some do although the beginning of it almost lost me for it was a whole lot happening in a condensed period of time leading up to him landing upon the island. Another stand out of the book for me was my favourite character Friday. Although he was not the main character in it I admired him very much. Along with this I noticed Defoe's views of coloured people at this time. He obviously saw them as inferior like the white people of the time did but he seemed to show respect to them. I got this impression by his inclusion of Friday and his father as friends of Crusoe despite refering to them as savages. One of the disappointments for me was that he failed to mention what became of Friday during the final years of the novel. I assume that he continued to follow Crusoe as a loyal servant wherever he went as his death would almost certainly get a mention in the story. So in a brief summary that's my view, I thought it was well worth reading. But what did you think of it? What did you observe and take from Robinson Crusoe?

Robinson Crusoe - Discussion

Okay, so I'm on page 40 of 449 or something like that. Robinson has just landed onto the island with Xury, and met some friendly natives. Anyone care to talk to me about the book and share ideas and analysis?

Robinson Crusoe

Well, this book is next on my book queue after I finish with Sense And Sensibility. I just posted this thread as to look for some sort of guide or preview into the book of sorts. Like what characters to look out for? People favourite parts of the story? A small summary plot? In fact, what is this book about in general, and aside from a main plot is there a subplot?

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe-mere fiction or allegory?--need help!!!

Hi friends, I need your view of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Is it the allegory of defoe's life, a religous writing or a book on economics? I want you to reflect upon it and give me some critical views on the book.

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