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Transcript of Robinson Crusoe
A novel by Daniel Defoe
Project by Mihael Maldonado
Mid to late 1600s
Four major locations
West Coast of Africa
"Island of Despair"
Off the coast of S. America
The majority of the plot takes place on seemingly uninhabited locations
This creates a unique sense of loneliness, despair and uncertainty
These settings are necessary to the novel
Protagonist - Robinson Crusoe
Born in England to a middle-class family
Was encouraged by his father to pursue a career in law
However, he wanted to experience adventures at sea
He is very humble and attempts to help others
He is an excellent adventurer and expert survivor
Antagonist - Nature
Represents one of the novel's conflicts: Man vs. Nature
Throughout the novel, Nature tests Robinson's endurance as he experiences many obstacles
Hunger and Thirst
Storms resulting in the wrecking of two ships
Earthquakes resulting in the destruction of one shelter
The foil is Friday, a Native American who Robinson meets on the "Island of Despair"
He is named after the day that Robinson met him
Friday's tribe views Robinson as an outsider
Robinson's culture views Friday and his people as savages
Follower of Native American Religion
Not very religious first, later becomes a true follower of God
A young African American boy
He is enslaved in Africa along with Robinson
Not well educated
He learns from Robinson, whom he views as a friend and role model
Robinson Crusoe is a young adult who was born in England. His father wanted him to study law, but Robinson wished to experience life on the sea. He set sail from home, but was soon shipwrecked on his way to London. He joined another voyage, but was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Africa. While enslaved, Robinson met a boy named Xury. Along with Xury, he escaped on a small boat and took refuge on an island. He later joined the voyage of a Portuguese ship and traveled to Brazil, where he worked on a plantation. Robinson then set sail for Africa, but a storm wrecked his ship. He was now stranded on an island off the coast of South America. He improvised and was able to build a shelter and survive. Robinson met a Native American who he named Friday. Together, the duo killed many cannibals and accompanied a ship that was headed for England. After returning home, Robinson learned that he was not given anything in his father's will. In the end, Robinson acquires revenue from his Brazilian plantation and he states that he got married and had three children. He says that he will write a second account about his other adventures.
Analysis of Diction and
As an educated individual, Robinson writes about his adventures in a formal manner.
He conveys most of his thoughts and emotions in a concise and meaningful manner.
These are needed to better understand Robinson's opinions, mood and decisions.
His journal is expertly organized into paragraphs that allow the reader to better understand various scenes in the plot.
He displays an admirable knowledge of grammar, sentence structure, and overall vocabulary.
Analysis of Figurative Language
Throughout the novel, figurative language is used to disclose more information, compare subjects and keep the reader focused on the novel.
Alliteration and assonance are not used as frequently as other figures of speech.
Imagery is mostly used to describe locations
Example: "On the banks of this brook I found many pleasant savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered with grass . . . I found a great deal of tobacco, green and growing to a great and very strong stalk"
Example: ". . . Leadenhall market could not have furnished a table better than I . . ."
Point of View
The novel is told from the first-person perspective of Robinson Crusoe.
Robinson is the main character and narrator
His thoughts and emotions are conveyed to the reader.
The story may have some bias, considering that it include the opinion of only one individual.
Only Robinson's thoughts are conveyed, and he does not share his opinion of every character.
Therefore, the reader can not learn more about each character.
The reader must learn from Robinson's descriptions and visualize characters in their own minds.
Should this novel be required reading?
Yes, the novel should be on a required reading list. The novel belongs in the action/adventure genre and many readers are interested in this genre. It will capture the attention of its readers with its use of foreshadowing and unique manner of telling the story, such as Robinson's journal. The novel will also teach the ideas and philosophies of the people during the time period.
Two Main Conflicts
1. Man vs. Nature
Throughout most the novel, Robinson Crusoe is involved in a struggle for survival.
Nature is the main antagonist of the novel as it works against Robinson to obstruct his voyages
The main character resolves the conflict through patience and improvisation.
2. Robinson's intentions vs. His father's intentions
This conflict is presented in the exposition, and is resolved by the end of the story.
Robinson's father provided him with sufficient education to be successful in life.
Furthermore, the father wanted his son to study law and pursue a career in the subject
Robinson did not share these beliefs as he opposed his father's recommendation.
Towards the conclusion of the novel, Robinson realizes that his father did not include him in the will.
At first, Robinson is discouraged, but he realizes his father's mistakes and forgives him.
Robinson Crusoe as a Hero
Throughout the novel, Robinson displays many qualities of a true hero.
He is humble and respects most of the people that he meets.
He practiced self-sacrifice during various occasions
As he was escaping slavery, he answered Xury's plea for salvation and allowed the boy to join the escape.
"The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently that I could not distrust him . . ."
Robinson bestowed some knowledge upon his friend, Friday.
He also risked his life to fight other natives in an attempt to save Friday's father
When he noticed that mutineers were going to be abandoned on an island, Robinson decided to help them. He gave the prisoners advice on how to survive on the island by providing information about his own experiences.
Overall, Robinson Crusoe performed many heroic acts. Most importantly, he did not seek or demand credit for his actions.
Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Adventures
of Robinson Crusoe. London: Seeley, Service
& Co. Limited, 1919. Amazon Kindle.