I Furnish Myself with Many Things - The Journal: It Blows a Most Dreadful Hurricane Summary

The ship had been beached on a sandbar during a storm. Robinson and the other men tried to reach the mainland by lifeboat, but Robinson was the only person to survive the trip. He was stranded on the island alone and he had no idea of where he was or what kind of conditions he would live in.

He spent the first night in a tree, because he was afraid the island had some wild beasts on it. The next morning he discovered the ship had been shifted off the sandbar and was still intact. He was saddened by the thought that if he and the others had stayed on board, they might all still be alive. He quickly put those thoughts to rest, as he set about the task of retrieving all he could from the ship; he needed whatever supplies he could find to help him survive on the island.

This task was not as easy as he thought it might be, because the ship was high up above him, as it was low tide when he reached it, and he found only a rope to help him enter the ship. He finally made his way on board and set about finding the materials needed to construct himself a raft. With the raft made, Robinson went through the ship and found food, drink, guns, gun powder, and clothes to be brought back to the mainland. In all he had made twelve trips to the ship, stripping it of anything he thought might be of use to him in his quest for survival.

Another storm hit the island and the shipwreck was torn to pieces. He had by this time constructed himself a tent to live in and had begun exploring the island. Robinson soon discovered the placement of his tent on a piece of ground with poor drainage was bad for his health. He went on to search for a new place in which to live, but he could not decide whether to live in a tent or in a cave. In the end he chose both, because he found a piece of high land with a hill which had a rock wall. By building his tent in front of the rock wall and carving out a cave in the wall he had the best of both dwellings. He also fortified his living quarters with spiked stakes with pieces of cable between them, which formed a fence about five and a half feet tall. It was so tall he had to build a ladder, so he could climb over it. The fence was strong enough to keep out any unwanted men or beasts. He used the cave as a sort of cellar for the goods he brought back from the ship. He eventually carved out enough of the rock to form an even larger cave and gave himself a back entrance to his tent.

A strong storm with lightening convinced him he should take two weeks to divide up the gun powder he had left stored in barrels. He realized if the lightning had hit the gun powder, then his means for self-defense and hunting would disappear. He also started to take stock of his emotional well-being. He felt as though he was in the most miserable situation possible for a man to endure, but at the same time his common sense reminded him he was lucky to be alive. He also mentioned the two cats and one dog from the ship that lived with him.

Robinson wrote an inventory of the good vs evil of his situation, which allowed him to see in writing how even through adversity, some good does shine through. He also decided to keep a calendar of sorts; he recorded on a stake the date of his shipwreck, which was September 30, 1659. He marked on the stake the days and months, so he could remind himself of the passing of time. He also found the time to make himself a table and chairs. He soon learned how to fell trees and made planks to build with the use of only an adze and an ax. He used the ink and paper he scavenged from the ship and wrote a journal. He honed his skill as a hunter, which provided him with some meat to supplement the food he took from the ship.

Robinson started to write his journal, which mainly consisted of the information already given to the reader. A few new pieces of information were given, such as the name he gave the island, The Island of Despair and the roof collapse of his storage area in the cave. The roof collapsed because an earthquake had hit the island. It caused large rocks to fall into the ocean and terrified Robinson so much he was afraid to enter his home again. Before this happened he had seen corn and rice growing in his camp area. He had found bags with spoiled corn husks and rice in them, which he threw on the ground, they later sprouted plants and grew.

Robinson, after the earthquake, experienced a hurricane as it hit the island. At first he wanted to leave his current shelter, because it was under a rock, but he later reconsidered. He reconsidered because he found the shipwreck had been torn open by the earthquake and he could access parts of the ship he couldn't before. He spent many days prying apart the ship and bringing back its pieces to his camp. He decided to stay where he was until he could build a new camp and then move into it.

Robinson coped with the physical and emotional aspects of being stranded and utterly alone. He learned to deal with his emotional and physical needs to an extent that he surprised himself with his resolve and resourcefulness.

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