Robinson Crusoe By Daniel Defoe

Posted on March 9, 2009




By Daniel Defoe

This UNS logo should appear in any cover of my paper...

This UNS logo should appear in any cover of my paper...



17 March 2009



Sebelas Maret University


A. Introduction

1. The Author

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) English novelist, pamphleteer, and journalist, is most famous as the author of Robinson Crusoe (1719), a story of a man shipwrecked alone on an island.

Defoe was born as the son of James Foe, a butcher of Stroke Newington. He studied at Charles Morton’s Academy, London. Although his Nonconformist father intended him for the ministry, Defoe plunged into politics and trade, traveling extensively in Europe. In the early 1680s Defoe was a commission merchant in Cornhill but went bankrupt in 1691. In 1684 he married Mary Tuffley; they had two sons and five daughters.

Defoe Wrote satirical poem, mock ode, several historical works, a guide books, etc. In his own days Defoe was regarded as an unscrupulous, diabolical journalist. He died on 26 April 1731, at his lodgings in Ropemaker’s Alley, Moorfields.


2. The Novel

Robinson Crusoe was written by Daniel Defoe. The novel was first published in1719. It tells the story of a young explorer who becomes marooned on a deserted island. His experiences of the island change his outlook of life. Many believe Defoe used Robinson Crusoe to portray himself in a certain way. This novel achieved literally immortality.

This book contains 17 Chapters and 93 pages. The edition the reader had read was published by Oxford University Press on 1979, reprinted on 1980, and adapted by Rosemary Border.

B. Report

1. Theme

The major theme of this novel is that nature can change the way a man thinks on his outlook of life. As a young man lived on an uninhabited island, Crusoe tried to survive. He became grateful for what he did, more open-minded, and had faith in God.


2. Point of View

The edition the reader had read uses first-person point of view. This view makes the reader easy to understand the details of the story, and is able to feel the events.

3. Style

Robinson Crusoe is written using an English dialect. The narration of the novel is simple, informal, and easy to understand. Defoe did an excellent job of introducing the characters. However, he uses verbose description as on a character named Friday. This novel brings the reader into contact with topics like religion, economics, politics, on a more mature level.

4. Setting

This story takes place in the 1700s on a deserted island somewhere off the coast of Brazil. In this novel, Crusoe is exploring the land and make use of it.

5. Characters

a.) Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe was a young and stubborn explorer. He hated his family. He is a Protestant. He is very afraid of Indians for he will be eaten. However, he changed from a stubborn one to an open-minded man. He also became very religious after spent 28 years lived on the island.

b.) Friday

Friday is an Indians whom Crusoe rescued from the others who wanted to eat him. He is young, about twenty-five, intelligent, honest, and has faith to Crusoe.

c.) Friday’s Father

Friday’s father was held prisoner by the Indians. He is an Indians, too. It seems that Friday’s tribe were defeated in a battle so that Friday and his father are taken prisoner. Crusoe demanded Friday’s father and the Spaniard to sail to the mainland, but they aren’t back yet when Crusoe left the island.

d.) The Spaniard

The Spaniard came from Brazil and landed to the island. He was taken prisoner by the Indians and was rescued by Crusoe. Together by Friday’s father, The Spaniard left the island and was going to the mainland.

e.) Captain

He is an Englishman. He was betrayed by his men and tries to get his ship back. He calls Crusoe the Governor of the island. He is friendly.

f.) The Pirates

There are several pirates who landed on the land and betray the captain. John Atkins was the leader of the traitors.

g.) Xury

Xury is a slave who accompanied Crusoe on his escape from slavery. Together they sailed to Canary Islands and then to Cape Verde Islands. Xury was sold to a Portuguese captain and promised to set him free after ten years.

h.) Poll

Poll is a parrot which Crusoe found in the forest. Crusoe taught it to speak and it able to say Crusoe’s name clearly. Crusoe is often amused by Poll’s behavior.

6. Plot Summary

Robinson Crusoe was born in York in 1632. His father wanted him to be a lawyer. But Crusoe wanted only to go to sea. One day, he joined his friend father’s ship. On 1 September 1651 he sailed to London.

One day, the ship that Crusoe boarded was surprised and attacked by a Turkish ship. Crusoe was taken prisoner and kept by the master of the Turkish ship. Somehow, he managed to escape from slavery with Xury the slave, and decided to sail to Canary Islands but they got lost. Then they sailed down the African coast and helped the Africans from the huge wild cat. After that, they sailed to Cape Verde Islands. A Portuguese ship came towards the boat after a storm. The captain helped Crusoe to Brazil and also bought Xury. Crusoe planted sugar in Brazil and did very well.

For nearly four years Crusoe successes in growing sugar and tobacco. He became restless. The other planter asked him to go Guinea to collect Africans to work on their land. And in 1659 they sailed. But he encounters a violent storm in

which ship is destroyed. Crusoe landed on a deserted island somewhere off the coast of Brazil. His companions all die. It was September 30th, 1659.

The only possessions that Crusoe retrieved from the remains of his ship were a small knife, a box of tobacco, a pipe, and a small book that would later become his journal. Being the only man on the island, he established faith in God. Ha also became more articulate from writing a journal daily. Crusoe became a skilled craftsman and an inventor of solving problems.

Twenty-five years after the shipwreck, Crusoe found a colony of Indians having cannibal feast at his island. Crusoe help an Indian. Later he named his new companion “Friday” after the day of the week he appeared. Crusoe then teaches him English and converts him to Christianity.

After another party of natives arrives to partake in a cannibal feast, Crusoe and Friday manage to kill most of the natives and save two of the prisoners. One is Friday’s father and the other is a Spaniard, who informs Crusoe that there are other Spaniards shipwrecked on the mainland. A plan is devised wherein the Spaniard would return with Friday’s father to the mainland and bring back the others, build a ship, and sail to a Spanish port.

Before the Spaniards return, an English ship appears; mutineers have taken control of the ship and intend to maroon their former captain on the island. Crusoe and the ship’s captain strike a deal, in which he helps the captain and the loyalist sailors retake the ship from the mutineers, whereupon they intend to leave the worst of the mutineers on the island. Before they leave for England, Crusoe shows the former mutineers how he lived on the island, and states that there will be more men coming. Crusoe leaves the island December 19th, 1686.

7. Moral Messages

After reading this novel for about 5 days, the reader revealed some moral messages. The first is, “Do not give up hope,” as it stated on the Bible Crusoe read. Second is, “The good things of the world are only good while they are useful to us,”

C. Feedback

The reader thinks it is a good book to read. The reader, who likes reading adventure stories, is very pleasant by Crusoe’s exploration on the island and how he managed to solve a lot of problems. However, the reader found that Defoe spent too long time describing all that Crusoe made, how he made it, what he used, where he got the tools, and also the details of making his shelter.

Despite this, the reader like the religion side of the story because it is true that we can’t do anything without God’s help.



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