Robinson Crusoe

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Robinson Crusoe Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Robinson saw that the savages were about to kill their European prisoner, so he and Friday shot at them, killing several, wounding others, and terrifying all the savages. Some of them jumped into a canoe to flee, as Friday continued to shoot at them and Robinson ran to free the European prisoner. Robinson asked the prisoner who he was and he responded in Latin with "Christianus."
It is not clear if the European prisoner gives his name as Christian or Christiano, or if he is simply identifying himself to Robinson as a fellow Christian, hoping that this commonality will make Robinson help him.
Themes
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Robinson gave the prisoner, who turned out to be Spanish, a sword and pistol. Together with Friday, they fought off the rest of the savages, killing all but four, who escaped in a boat. Robinson jumped into another of the boats, ready to pursue, but found another prisoner bound inside the boat.
Robinson and his allies defeat the "savages" rather easily, since they have guns. This unequal interaction can be seen as representative of much of the violence of European colonization in the Americas.
Themes
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
When Friday saw the prisoner and spoke to him, he literally jumped for joy, laughed, and cried. He told Robinson that this was his father. Robinson gave some food to Friday's father and then Friday went running to bring back a jug of fresh water for his father and the Spanish prisoner.
Friday's being reunited with his father is an extraordinary, serendipitous twist of providence.
Themes
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Friday took care of both the prisoners and moved the Spaniard to the boat where Friday's father was. He got in the boat and paddled it around to the creek nearer Robinson's home. Robinson devised a "kind of hand-barrow" by which he and Friday could carry the two prisoners to his dwelling. Unable to carry them over his fortifications, he built a tent right outside his outer wall for them.
Robinson now has several comrades on his island, but the new companions do not go inside his dwelling yet, perhaps symbolic of how Robinson has not yet entirely welcomed them into his solitary life.
Themes
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
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Robinson says that he now felt like the king of a populated island, with three subjects. He cooked some goat meat for everyone and then ordered Friday to get their weapons, which they had hurriedly left at the scene of their battle. He also ordered Friday to bury all human remains there.
Robinson is even happier now that he has three companions on the island, though he refers to them as subjects, making a clear hierarchy with himself as a ruler. Robinson values his own individual freedom, but often neglects that of others.
Themes
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Contentment vs. Desire and Ambition Theme Icon
Robinson had Friday ask Friday's father if there was any chance that the escaped savages might come back with a large army to take revenge on them, but Friday's father said that the savages were scared of Robinson and his guns and thought that he and Friday were gods. As more and more time passed, Robinson became comfortably confident that the savages would not return, just as Friday's father said.
Robinson's narrative again paints the "savages" as naïve and easily scared, since they are terrified of Robinson's guns. That the savages view Robinson as a god again shows the novels general sense of the superiority of Europeans.
Themes
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson learned from the Spaniard that he had been aboard a Spanish ship with some Portuguese sailors that had wrecked. The Spaniard and some others were stranded "on the cannibal coast," where they expected to be killed, but were taken in by Friday's people, where they lived without the provisions or vessel necessary to go back to sea.
Like Robinson, the Spanish and Portuguese sailors assumed that indigenous people would be dangerous, though some of the natives turned out to be kind and somewhat hospitable.
Themes
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson asked the Spaniard how he and his sailors might respond to a proposal of escaping with him. He told him that he was worried the Spaniards and Portuguese might turn on him after he helped them. The Spaniard assured him that his comrades were so desperate that they would be thankful for Robinson's help and would not turn on him. Moreover, he swore that they were "very civil, honest men."
Robinson is eager to have comrades, but is still cautious toward the Spaniard, and not trusting at first, since he does not know the sailors personally.
Themes
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson planned to send Friday's father and the Spaniard back to the their people so that the rest of the Europeans could come back with them to Robinson's island, from where they could depart with Robinson. The Spaniard agreed with the plan, but told Robinson to sow more crops first, so that he would have enough food for all of these new people.
Robinson is pleased to be on the island with three companions (or subjects), but he is still determined to plan an escape from the island. That Robinson would have to plant more crops is an indication that with society comes responsibility—he is not just supporting himself any longer.
Themes
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Contentment vs. Desire and Ambition Theme Icon
Robinson thought this was a good idea, and so set about growing more crops, gathering and drying more raisins, and capturing more goats. He also started cutting down trees to use to construct a boat. After the next harvest, he sent Friday's father and the Spaniard on their journey. As best as Robinson could reckon, they left some time in October.
Robinson continues to use the skills he learned by necessity while living all alone on the island, preparing for his upcoming voyage.
Themes
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Eight days later, Robinson was awoken by Friday running to him and shouting, "Master, master, they are come, they are come!" But when Robinson looked, he saw a boat with a sail coming from the wrong direction for it to be Friday's father and the Spaniard. He climbed his hill and looked with his perspective glass to see further off-shore an English ship.
In a bizarre turn of providence, a ship from Robinson's own country arrives just as he is planning to escape by other means.
Themes
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Robinson was confused by this, especially because no English trade routes came this way and there had been no recent storm to blow the ship off its course. Feeling suspicion, Robinson kept observing at a safe distance. He encourages his reader similarly to obey the "secret admonition," to pay attention to feelings of danger. Robinson saw eleven men come to shore from the English boat, three of whom were prisoners.
Robinson draws on his own experience to offer the reader a lesson about listening to one's feelings of danger. However, this is precisely the kind of sage advice that Robinson himself often disregarded in living his own life.
Themes
Advice, Mistakes, and Hindsight Theme Icon
Friday thought that the Englishmen were going to eat the prisoners, but Robinson doubted this. Robinson watched the three prisoners, whose despair reminded him of himself when he was first stranded on the island. He thought of how fortunate he was that his ship had been stuck close to the shore and again noted that people are "sometimes nearer their deliverance than they imagine."
Like the "savages," the English come to the island with their own prisoners (though not to eat them). Robinson's memory of first being stranded on the island reminds him of the beneficence of providence.
Themes
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon