Check out my Robinson Crusoe book summary and review that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book. Robinson Crusoe is a novel written by Daniel Dafoe and it was first published on April 25, 1719. The first edition of this publication is credited to the protagonist of the novel, Robinson Crusoe as its author. 

In the form of letters , confessions and didactics , the book is a fictional autobiography for the main character (born as Robinson Kreutznaer), a stranded man who spends his years on a remote island near Trinidad , confronted by cannibals , captives and rebels before he is rescued.

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe Book Summary:

Crusoe (a broken family name from the German name "Kreutznaer") sailed from Kingston upon Hull on a sea voyage in August 1651, against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a career in law. After a turbulent journey in which his ship sank in a storm, his desire for the sea remained strong until he set out to sea again. 

The voyage also ended in disaster, as the ship was taken over by Salé pirates (Salé Rovers) and Crusoe was enslaved by the Moors. Two years later, he escaped by ship with a boy named Xury; a captain of a Portuguese ship on the west coast of Africa rescued him. Ship en route to Brazil. Crusoe sells Xury to the captain. With the help of the captain, Crusoe acquired the farm.

Years later, Crusoe joined an expedition to bring slaves from Africa, but he sank in a storm about forty miles out to sea on an island off the coast of Venezuela (he called the Island of Despair) near the mouth of the Orinoco river on 30 September 1659. (Chapter 23) He observed the latitude as 9 degrees and 22 minutes to the north.

 He saw penguins and seals on the island. On his arrival there, only he and three animals, the captain’s dog and two cats, survived the shipwreck. Overcoming his despair, he took weapons, tools and other supplies from the ship before breaking and sinking. He built a fenced habitat near the excavated caves. By making a mark on the cross, he made a calendar. 

By using tools salvaged from the ship, and some of its artificial tools, he hunted, grew barley and rice, dried grapes to make raisins, learned to make pottery and raised goats. He also adopted a small parrot. He read the Bible and became religious, thanking God for his fate in which nothing is lost but human society.

Several years passed and Crusoe encountered native cannibals, who occasionally visited the island to kill and devour prisoners. At first he plans to kill them for committing an abomination but then realizes he has no right to do so, because the cannibal did not intentionally commit the crime. 

He dreamed of getting one or two slaves by freeing some prisoners; when the prisoner escapes, Crusoe helps him, naming his new friend "Friday" after the day in the week he shows up. Crusoe then taught him English and converted him to Christianity.

Once more natives arrived to take part in the cannibal party, Crusoe and Friday killed most of the natives and rescued two prisoners. One was Friday’s father and the other was a Spaniard, who told Crusoe about another Spanish ship that sank on land. A plan was made in which the Spaniard would return ashore with father Friday and bring home the others, build a ship.

Before the Spaniards returned, English ships appeared; the rebels had commanded the ship and intended to defeat their captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship’s captain make a deal in which Crusoe helps the captain and loyal sailors retake the ship. 

With their leader executed by the captain, the rebels accepted Crusoe’s offer to be released on the island rather than returned to England as a prisoner to be hanged. Before leaving for England, Crusoe showed the rebels how he survived on the island and stated that there would be more men coming.

The route taken by Robinson Crusoe over the Pyrenees in chapters 19 & 20 of Defoe’s novel, as imagined by Joseph Ribas

Crusoe left the island 19 December 1686 and arrived in England 11 June 1687. He learned that his family believed him dead; As a result, he was not left in the will of his father. Crusoe set out for Lisbon to reclaim the profits of his real estate in Brazil, which had given him much wealth. 

In conclusion, he transported his wealth overland to England from Portugal to avoid travel by sea. Friday accompanies him and, on the way, they go on one last adventure together as they fight hungry wolves while crossing the Pyrenees.

Read More: The Heart of Darkness book summary and review

Robinson Crusoe Book Review:

Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719 during the Enlightenment period of the 18th century. In the novel Crusoe explains different aspects of Christianity and its beliefs. The book can be considered a spiritual autobiography because Crusoe’s views on religion changed drastically from the beginning of his story and then the end.

At the beginning of the book Crusoe deals with a voyage away from home, where he meets a storm at sea. He promised God that if he survived the storm, he would become an obedient Christian and go home according to his parents ’wishes. 

However, when Crusoe is safe from the storm, he decides to continue sailing and states that he is unable to keep the promises he has made during the turmoil.

After Robinson sank on the island he began to suffer extreme isolation. He turns to his animals to talk to, like a parrot, but apart from human contact. He turned to God in turbulent times in search of solace and guidance. He picked up a Bible from a ship washed along the shore and began memorizing verses.

In times of difficulty, he would open the Bible to a random page where he would read a verse that he believed God had made him open and read, and that would calm his mind. Thus, when Crusoe sank, he became very religious and often asked God for help.

When Crusoe met his servant on Friday, he began teaching him the scriptures and about Christianity. He tried to teach Friday to the best of his ability about God and what Heaven and Hell are. The goal is to turn Friday into Christianity and its values ​​and beliefs. 

"During that Friday he was with me, and he began to talk to me, and understand me. I did not want to put the foundation of religious knowledge in his mind; especially since I asked him who made it?" (P. 158)

Lynne W. Hinojosa argues that throughout the novel Crusoe interprets scripture in such a way that “cryptocurrency never has consequences beyond its own needs and circumstances” (651). For Hinojosa, Crusoe puts a biblical narrative within himself unlike previous interpretations of scripture in which the individual is combined with a biblical narrative. 

For this reason, Hinojosa argues that “Crusoe showed no desire ... to carry out the mission of the church or to reunite with society to participate in God’s plan for human history” (652).

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