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Shvoong Home>Books>Reference>Robinson Crusoe Review

Robinson Crusoe

Book Review   by:angeldorado91     Original Author: Daniel Defoe
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1..Plot Overview or Synopsis
Robinson Crusoe despite his father´s advices became a sailor. Firstly he sailed with a friend of him and there was a storm which made the ship sink, although everyone survived. However he sailed again to Africa, but he was made prisoner for two years, and once he escaped he went to Brazil where he worked a prosper farm.
A day, when he was travelling from Brazil to Africa a strong storm surprised the crew. Everyone died apart from Robinson who could reach a desert island. He adapted himself to the island and to the solitary life, until he saved Friday, a cannibal, from another cannibals. He taught Friday everything he knew for three years. Then, some cannibals arrived in the island with three prisoners; one of them was Friday´s father. Finally, with the help of an English ship and after twenty eight years, he could arrive at England.

2.Analysis of Major Characters.
*Robinson Crusoe: he is the main character. He is a persevering man who wants to be a sailor with all the consequences, even knowing that his life is in danger every time he sails, he does it. The result is living in a desert island for twenty years. He demonstrates how a man can adapt himself to a different way of life and to being alone. He has to get over his fears and becomes “part of the nature”. Robinson is a skilled man who can convert the island in a “home” using his tools, because he thinks the European way of life is the best one.
3.Major Themes.
*Adaptation to the nature: Robinson is man who comes from what we all know as a “civilized world” and he can adapt himself to a different “world” where apart from the difficulties he finds, he is alone. The novel also shows how everyone can be adapted to a different way of live.
*Thirst for conquest: Robinson considers the island as his, that is, he thinks he is the “king” of this territory: he refers to the island like: “my island”. Furthermore, he wants cannibals (who he thinks are inferior) to be their servants and to “civilize” them: “call me Master”, says Robinson.

4.Author's Style: The way he uses words and constructs sentences.
What I have to say before is that the novel I have read an adaptation, therefore, it’s quite difficult to appreciate the author style.
The narration is realistic and the style is simple, I mean, it can be understood and doesn’t have lot of motifs which make difficult the comprehension.
We can define the sea like a symbol, but it is ambiguous, because it can mean peace of danger, but I think in this case, the author refers to the last thing.
5.Form and Structure.
It is a novel written in first person and the narrator is Robinson.
Verbs are used in past tense. We find indirect speech above all, but also direct speech.
Time is linear but there is an acceleration which is easily seen during the time Robinson spends in the island, and also prolepsis when Robinson says what it’s going to happen in sentences like: I thought I’d see the widow and London soon, but it was many years before I saw either of them again. I should also mention the two times used in every novel:
* The external time is the historic time which is 17th century, although as I said before it was written in 1719.
*The internal time is the duration of the facts told in the novel, in this case, forty years approximately.
About the internal structure:
*Introduction: Robinson is told no to be a sailor, but he disobeys and starts an adventure.
*Body: he sails and has problems doing it: storms, being a prisoner... until he arrives at a desert island as a result of the sinking of his ship. It includes all the time he spends in the island.
*Ending: a day some English in troubles arrive at the island, Robinson helps them, and as a result he abandons the island after twenty eight years. It also includes his arrival to England and life there being a rich man and return to “his” island.

Published: December 07, 2010   
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