Robinson Crusoe Summary

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


In the year 1651 Robinson Crusoe boarded a ship for London. He was nineteen years old when he struck out on his own, but the voyage from Hull to London was a disaster. The ship was hit by a storm and the men on board had to be rescued by a nearby ship. Robinson went on to London, where he booked passage on a ship bound for Africa. It was on his second trip to Africa that his life took a drastic turn.

The boat was captured by pirates and Robinson was made the personal slave of the pirate captain. He was his prisoner for two years before he could escape by stealing the pirate's boat. He along with a fellow prisoner named Xury; managed to survive for several weeks at sea before being rescued by a Portuguese ship. The captain promised to take the men to Brazil, but he first purchased Xury.

In Brazil, Robinson learned how to grow tobacco and produce sugar. With some money he had acquired from his first trip to Africa, Robinson bought a plantation. Four years later, Robinson was approached by three plantation owners, who wanted him to travel to Guinea to procure some slaves to work on their and Robinson's plantations. Even though his plantation was a success, Robinson agreed to go. During this trip the ship was battered by storms and eventually became stranded on a sandbar. The men feared for their lives, so they boarded a small boat and tried to make it to the shore of a nearby island. Unfortunately the boat capsized, but Robinson managed to make it to shore. He alone survived. He was stranded alone on the island at the age of 27, with no idea of how he would survive or where he was.

The date of the shipwreck was September 30, 1659. Robinson stripped the ship of anything he thought could be of use to him. He built a tent, which was connected to a cave he hollowed out from the rock face of a hill. Robinson in June of 1659, became ill with a malaria type illness. It was as he endured this illness and as he recovered, that he began to study the Bible he had with him. He found he desired to lead a religious life, this desire became the focal point of his existence. He realized he did not need the trappings of the life he lived before, but instead just needed the essentials to survive and faith in God to make him happy.

After living on the island for 25 years, Robinson saw savages on his island. They were cannibals and he was very afraid they would find him and kill him. He also decided that if he could help save a person from them he would. This opportunity presented itself to him one day, after he noticed the savages had brought some men to be eaten on the shore nearest Robinson's home. One of the prisoners saw an opportunity to escape and with Robinson's help managed to gain his freedom. Robinson named him Friday after the day of the week he helped save the man, they had a close master and servant relationship. They were very loyal to each other, and after Friday spotted his homeland from a hill on the island, they decided to build a boat to sail there. As they were gathering provisions for the trip, Friday spotted three ships of savages approaching the island. Robinson had long ago decided he would not interfere with the cannibals unless they threatened him or Friday. But on that day one of the prisoners was a white man and Robinson decided he must help this man. He and Friday rescued the man, who had been among a group of Spaniards who were marooned in Friday's country. They were men who had survived a shipwreck, which occurred a few years earlier off the coast of Robinson's island. In a canoe left behind by the savages, Friday discovered his father, who was alive and well. It was decided a boat would be built to rescue all the Spanish men and bring them to America, because it was the nearest civilized area to the island.

Before this could happen a ship appeared off the coastline, the ship flew a British flag, but Robinson was dubious as to the intentions of the sailors on the ship. It was a good thing, because the crew had mutinied and the captain along with two others were being brought ashore to be left to die. Robinson helped the captain take control once again of his ship and in return the captain took Robinson and Friday to England.

Once there Robinson reacquainted himself with his surviving relatives and then went on to Lisbon, in an effort to return to Brazil to his plantation. In Lisbon he learned his plantation had prospered and he was a wealthy man. He, after an arduous overland trip, from Spain to France, went on to England. He sold his plantation and used the money to help those who had helped him in his life. He married, but after his wife died he returned to the island, to see how the men from the mutiny and the Spaniards, who were also left there, were getting on. He gave a portion of the island to the English and another portion to the Spanish, but he kept most of the island for himself.

Robinson Crusoe learned how to become a self-sufficient man, who understood faith was more important than possessions. He also became a true friend to all those who had helped him in his life by giving them the financial help they needed to sustain themselves in their old age.



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I Go to Sea - I Go on Board in an Evil Hour Summary
Robinson Crusoe I Go to Sea - I Go on Board in an Evil Hour Quiz
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Robinson Crusoe I Make Myself a Canoe - I See the Shore Spread with Bones Quiz
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Robinson Crusoe We Make Another Canoe - We Plan a Voyage to the Colonies of America Quiz
Robinson Crusoe We Quell a Mutiny - I find My Wealth All About Me Quiz
Robinson Crusoe We Cross the Mountains - I Revisit My Island Quiz
I Furnish Myself with Many Things - The Journal: It Blows a Most Dreadful Hurricane Summary
I Am Very Ill and Frighted - I Am Very Seldom Idle Summary
I Make Myself a Canoe - I See the Shore Spread with Bones Summary
I Seldom Go from My Cell - I Call Him Friday Summary
We Make Another Canoe - We Plan a Voyage to the Colonies of America Summary
We Quell a Mutiny - I find My Wealth All About Me Summary
We Cross the Mountains - I Revisit My Island Summary
Robinson Crusoe Important Characters
Literature
Literature Summaries
Daniel Defoe Facts


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