Robinson Crusoe

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Robinson Crusoe Character Analysis

Robinson is the protagonist and the narrator of the novel. He is individualistic, self-reliant, and adventurous. He continually discounts the good advice and warnings of his parents and others, and boldly seeks to make his own life by going to sea. He is at times overly ambitious and is unable to remain content with a comfortable life (whether in England or Brazil). Trapped on his island, he learns to survive all alone and also ends up becoming a devout Christian, repenting for his past sins and gaining a newfound confidence in God and his divine plan of providence. Robinson's extreme individualism is at times heroic, but also leads him to disregard others. While he values the loyal friends he finds over the course of his journeys (repaying and rewarding the captain's widow and the Portuguese captain, for example), he sells Xury into a kind of slavery or indentured servitude and treats Friday as an inferior servant. His self-reliance can also shade into narcissism, reflected in his narration's focus on himself and disregard for others: most of the other characters in the novel don't even get a name. But in spite of any of these faults, Defoe presents Robinson as the novel's intrepid hero, who draws on reserves of ingenuity and bravery to survive incredibly against the whims of nature and fate.

Robinson Crusoe Quotes in Robinson Crusoe

The Robinson Crusoe quotes below are all either spoken by Robinson Crusoe or refer to Robinson Crusoe. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Robinson Crusoe published in 2003.
Chapter 1 Quotes

My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house-education and a country free school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propensity of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Related Symbols: The Sea
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson Crusoe is narrating the story of his own life with the privileged view of hindsight. In this passage, as throughout the book, he compares his past self to what he knows now, and laments how ignorant and naïve he once was. With the benefit of having lived long enough, he only now recognizes that his great hunger for life on the sea, for experiences more exciting and stimulating than those involved in the law, was almost certain to lead to his "misery." 

However, at the same time, Robinson seems to acknowledge that there was little he could have done about this fatal flaw. His desire to go to sea, like his refusal to content himself with what he already saw and had, is in his very nature. Even his father's commands, of course, could do nothing to prevent him, and so even as he expresses regret for the decisions of his stubborn younger self, he accepts that he probably couldn't have done anything differently. Later in the book, this sense of inevitability will come to make sense to Robinson through the frame of divine Providence. Here, however, he still seems to be puzzling out what it means for his life to have seemed so inevitable.

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He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me... that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson's father finds it difficult to understand why Robinson should want to leave everything he has - everything his father has worked so hard to achieve for his family - and seek a life of uncertain adventure on the sea. This novel was published around the time of the expansion of capitalism, when what we now call the "middle class" was exploding in England: a group of people lacking the luxuries of the royal family or of nobles but also living much more comfortable lives than the peasants of centuries past. The uncertain definition of this group is evident in the way Robinson's father talks about his station, using various terms like the "middle state" or "upper station of low life."

Middle-class stability is a relatively new good at this moment, and to Robinson's father it is something to be content with, something to embrace, rather than something to run away from. Robinson pays little heed to his father's house. Only with the passage of time will the advantages of his father's position grow clear to him; nonetheless, even at this point in the book, Robinson's desire to run away to gain his own fortune does have some things in common with his father's emphasis on the importance of attaining financial stability.

Chapter 2 Quotes

The ship was no sooner out of the Humber than the wind began to blow and the sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty. All the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to God and my father.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Related Symbols: The Sea
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

This is the first ordeal that Robinson has to face after leaving his home and family, and he doesn't exactly react well to it. It suddenly becomes clear to him just how young and inexperienced he is, having never spent time on the sea. Even the fact that Robinson is terrified of the storm, while his shipmates around him pay him little heed, underlines how little he knows about what is normal and not on a ship. Still, this frightening period gives Robinson his first reminder that he was overly stubborn in refusing his father's advice. He also recognizes that the storm may well be a sign from God that he is on the wrong path. As we will see, however, it will take more than a storm for these thoughts, racing through Robinson's head in a panic, to truly sink in.

That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house—which hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father—I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly called it, a voyage to Guinea.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has finally made it back to England, and yet scarcely is he back on his home soil than he boards yet another ship, this time to the coast of Africa. The way Robinson describes his actions seems to take away any sense of agency, of responsibility for his actions. It is as if Robinson was picked up and thrown onto the ship against his will rather than walking onto it of his own accord. Nonetheless, this is really the way that Robinson finds he can best describe his state of mind. He believes that his father and even God would prefer he stay at home and accept his duty, but he is somehow unable to heed those desires. 

Of course, one of the book's main paradoxes is that its very existence is only made possible by the fact that Robinson did flout his father's wishes, that he did act sinfully and against divine will. His mistakes, then - his burning desire to see and experience more - are to be judged by readers even as we accept that we are now enjoying the fruit of these very mistakes.

Chapter 3 Quotes

At this surprising change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable and have none to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to pass that I could not be worse; for now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption; but, alas! this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel of this story.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson's ship is captured by pirates and he becomes the slave of the ship's captain at the port of Sallee. Looking back on these events now, Robinson notes that he thought things could really get no worse from here. He had been enthralled by the thought of gaining his riches after having so easily made money on the trip to Africa, and had once again brushed away his father's concerns. Now, though, Robinson reminds us that his father's worries were "prophetic," and he should have known that something would go awry. Robinson alternately locates the source of his woes in God's judgment and in his own mistakes: he doesn't exactly have a well-thought-out understanding of the relationship between his choices and the consequences, except to stress that he was mistaken about his ability to embrace danger without falling into trouble.

For who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward, to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes and destroy us; where we could not go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind?

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Xury
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

After managing to swim away with Xury and escape the pirate ship, Robinson knows that his struggles are not yet over. He remains on edge as, even more than before, he realizes that he is in an unknown place with no one to protect him, and must remain on alert for any other sources of danger. Still, Robinson shows himself to be naturally suspicious of certain kinds of danger in particular.

Robinson had known theoretically that joining a merchant ship could be dangerous, but that was the kind of danger that didn't bother him. What does fill him with fright are the thoughts of strange, different peoples - in particular Africans. Robinson equates "savage beasts" with "savage" men, espousing a crude, colonialist-inflected understanding of other peoples, especially dark-skinned peoples, as less than human. At the same time, the history of colonialism in Africa is such that it probably is probable, at this historical moment, that a white man would be (justifiably) looked upon with equal suspicion and fear by those peoples themselves. 

Chapter 4 Quotes

He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Xury, The Portuguese Captain
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

If there's anything we've learned about Robinson through the first few chapters of the book, it's that he prizes his freedom and individuality above nearly all else. This is what has motivated him to go to sea and what has propelled him to escape - of course, with the help of Xury. Robinson seems to grant, at least implicitly, that there is a massive contradiction between wanting freedom for himself and agreeing to sell off someone else into slavery: this is why he makes clear that he was so reluctant to take away the boy's "liberty." 

Still, Robinson cannot be that reluctant, since he soon agrees to the captain's terms. He seems to justify these terms to himself based on the captain's agreement to set Xury free if he converts to Christianity (though only in ten years) - which for him is significant enough to counteract any other questions. Although Robinson has spent a great deal of time with Xury, and though he seems to really enjoy his company, he fails to consider the boy, who is not from England, as a person with the same hopes, fears, and human dignity as himself.

In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and then this neighbour; no work to be done, but by the labour of my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. But how just has it been—and how should all men reflect, that when they compare their present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity by their experience—I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on, in an island of mere desolation, should be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which, had I continued, I had in all probability been exceeding prosperous and rich.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has settled into the life of a middle-class sugar farmer in Brazil, and while he is relatively successful, he begins to become lonely. Robinson had never feared being alone before - indeed, he had left England largely with the express desire of being alone in the world. However, now that he is no longer on the sea, he finds himself in a place where society exists around him - but it is a society that is foreign to him, in which he doesn't truly belong.

At the time, Robinson compares his life to that on a "desolate island." Robinson the narrator, looking back on this moment, takes the opportunity - with the wisdom gained from the passage of time - to emphasize to the reader how dangerous it is to constantly be comparing one's experience to other, worse conditions. Looking back on his time in Brazil, Robinson recognizes that it was a good life, and could easily have made him rich: he should have been content with his time rather than constantly remaining unsatisfied with what he had. This dissatisfaction, indeed, would almost ensure that his feelings would be equated by reality later on.

Chapter 5 Quotes

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: "O drug!" said I, aloud, "what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me—no, not the taking off the ground; one of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of use for thee—e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving." However, upon second thoughts I took it away.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has landed on the island as the sole survivor, although he does manage to return to the ship several times in order to obtain any useful provisions. As he rummages through the ship, he prizes anything he can find that would be valuable to him. In another place, at another time, a pile of money would have certainly been one of these valuable possessions. However, now Robinson fully recognizes that money is only valuable in society: when all one needs is to survive, nothing could be more useless.

Thus far in the book, Robinson has shown himself to pay very close attention to details of money and economic transactions, always mentioning how much he made at a certain job, and often recounting the exact logs of spending for the reader. It is ironic, then, that he must now come to terms with exactly how useless money is. Nonetheless, the fact that he does take the money away reminds us that Robinson is at heart a man of society: even if he now must play by different rules, the rules of an isolated man, he keeps the currency of society aside just in case it might serve him well.  

Chapter 6 Quotes

I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence should thus completely ruin His creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable; so without help, abandoned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has managed to create a somewhat stable existence for himself on the island. Although he is proud of his ability to live by himself, as he thinks about the future he realizes that he may well be here forever, with no hope of ever seeing other humans again. He believes that God has intervened because of how foolhardy and thoughtless he has been, in refusing to follow his duty and listen to his father.

Although Robinson has a great deal of respect for Providence, he isn't exactly happy about the lesson that God seems to be teaching him. Providence in his view is a means of punishment, but even so he wonders why it is necessary for him to be taught a lesson so harshly. In attempting to develop a cause or greater plan for why he finds himself in such straits, Robinson at least in this moment fails to do so. 

Chapter 7 Quotes

Evil: I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to be miserable.
Good: But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's crew, to be spared from death; and He that miraculously saved me from death can deliver me from this condition.
Evil: I am divided from mankind—a solitaire; one banished from human society.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

In order to make himself feel better, Robinson begins to draw up a list of everything that has happened to him on the island, dividing it into two categories: the good and the evil. Although Robinson had sought great independence, had sought to assert his own individual will, in going to sea, now he fully recognizes the other side of that value: deep suffering that comes from being fully isolated from society. Robinson recognizes that a great deal of human meaning comes from being around others, and asserting one's individuality only really makes sense in the context of a social world. At the same time, Robinson recognizes that his isolation is at least in part due to the fact that he, among all members of his crew, was saved from death. 

Robinson continues to have a businessman's mentality even as he makes a life for himself in a place where the pursuit of profit is no longer relevant. His pro and con list is another kind of income/expenses ledger. Robinson believes that by setting up his situation in such a way, the good will balance out the evil, even if his own personal experience ends up being less rational than a balance ledger would make it seem.

I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen me otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God, without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in governing events for the world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely, and I began to suggest that God had miraculously caused His grain to grow without help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that wild, miserable place.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson had dumped a bag of rice and barley out onto the ground, discouraged since he saw that it had been almost entirely eaten by rats. However, soon enough he sees that stalks of rice and barley are growing out of the ground, even though he did nothing to sow their seeds or to ensure that they would grow well. It is interesting that Robinson's gradual embrace of Providence as a divine force - at least, as a divine force for good - takes place as a result of something that many readers would be tempted to simply call chance. But while Robinson has, earlier, tended to view what happens around him as a result of chance, now he is suddenly certain that God played a part in these happenings. 

In fact, it seems that Robinson is growing more open to the workings of Providence in human affairs. Earlier, he had considered anything bad that happened to him a sign from God as well - a sign that God was judging or punishing him. Now, not only is he willing to see God's hand in something positive, but he also begins to believe that there is some redemption possible for him on the island. 

"Now," said I, aloud, "my dear father's words are come to pass; God's justice has overtaken me, and I have none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself nor learn to know the blessing of it from my parents. ...Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress." This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made for many years.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Crusoe's Parents
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has grown seriously ill as a result of eating turtle meat, and he finds himself in both physical and spiritual torment. He begins to think about the fact that it has been many years since he's prayed - a lapse of time that, for him, signifies just how much he has discounted the will of God in favor of his own individual desires and ambitions. Our narrator - Robinson at a later stage in his life - has been reminding us all along the story how Providence has played a role in his life, but the Robinson of the past was still largely unconscious of this role. 

This passage is this first moment in the book where Robinson finds himself not only in danger but truly at a crossroads between life and death. It is this acute peril that gives him the opportunity for an epiphany about the way he should live his life. Asking God for help requires the humility of knowing that one is not entirely isolated and self-sufficient, and may not be able to overcome struggles alone.

Now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing. I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it or think of it; it was all of no consideration in comparison to this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson has begun to reflect seriously on his life up until now, and has begun to recognize just how wrong he has been and how many mistakes he has made in pursuing his own desires and ambitions above all else. Even in the past, when he has acknowledged the power of God in his affairs, it has been mainly as a source of fear - or even as power that could potentially influence his life for the better. Now Robinson recognizes that even to pray for his own safety is selfish, and what he should be doing is praying for God to help him come to terms with the reality he is living. This is what Robinson means by "deliverance from sin" rather than from "affliction," and here he tries to share with his reader the lesson that it took so long for him to learn. 

Chapter 8 Quotes

I could not tell what part of the world this might be, otherwise than that I knew it must be part of America, and, as I concluded by all my observations, must be near the Spanish dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I had landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now; and therefore I acquiesced in the dispositions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe ordered everything for the best; I say I quieted my mind with this, and left off afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson actually does manage to spot some land from the hilltop of the island, so he realizes that he is not in complete isolation. However, now he has the humility to recognize that there is much that he does not know about the place he is inhabiting. Earlier, Robinson might have fought against fate and sought to change his situation based on his own merits. Now, though, he shows himself to be much more willing to accept the "dispositions of Providence" and recognize that his desires to be elsewhere or to find his way out of his situation will not help him accept the reality of his isolation on the island.

At the same time, Robinson also has a more practical reason for deciding not to venture out to the other lands. Throughout the novel, Robinson is deeply suspicious of what he calls "savages." Here he uses the word to mean any native peoples of the Americas (as he used it before to refer to Africans), but, of course, the term also implies that these groups are barbaric, uncivilized, and frighteningly different than Europeans. At least for now, this assumption - unlike many others in Robinson's life - remains unchallenged.

Chapter 9 Quotes

I gave humble and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have been in the liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world; that He could fully make up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by His presence and the communications of His grace to my soul; supporting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon His providence here, and hope for His eternal presence hereafter.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson is reading the Bible and comes across a passage that speaks of God's promise not to forsake his people. He is greatly cheered by this passage, as he has come to accept that he will have to live in total isolation from society on the island. Robinson has continued to hold an ambivalent attitude towards this fact. On the one hand, he misses the excitement of society and recognizes that his notions of individuality make sense largely within the context of other people around him. At the same time, his streak of independence makes him more open to the idea that isolation can be positive rather than negative.

Now, Robinson finds what he believes to be divine justification for the more positive elements of isolation from society. Other people may not be around Robinson, he argues, but he is in the presence of God, and this presence can be even better felt when no one else is around to distract him. Robinson takes comfort in the fact that he has come to believe in God's plan for mankind, so that he no longer needs to worry about his own plan for his survival--or about ever being totally alone.

I believe few people have thought much upon the strange multitude of little things necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing, making, and finishing this one article of bread. I, that was reduced to a mere state of nature, found this to my daily discouragement. ...I had the next six months to apply myself wholly, by labour and invention, to furnish myself with utensils proper for the performing all the operations necessary for making the corn, when I had it, fit for my use.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

As a member of society - and even as a farmer himself - Robinson has never had to really contemplate what it would be like to begin again from scratch, with none of the comforts of social life ready-made. Here he zooms in on one example of the difficulties that he has to surmount for something as simple as grinding corn and making it into bread. In his "state of nature," the simplest tasks become incredibly complicated and time-consuming, as Robinson must recreate the environment that he's grown used to.

The book is interested in chronicling just how excruciating this process is mainly in order to show how powerful it can be to be thrust away from society and be forced to figure things out on one's own. Here, the tools and processes that have been developed throughout history in order to make things easier for people are portrayed as signs of weakness, which a true individualist must learn either to do without or to recreate.

Chapter 11 Quotes

In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of the world here; I had neither the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, nor the pride of life. I had nothing to covet, for I had all that I was now capable of enjoying; I was lord of the whole manor; or, if I pleased, I might call myself king or emperor over the whole country which I had possession of.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

As the fourth anniversary of Robinson's stay on the island arrives, he takes the time to reflect on what he has learned and how he has changed since the shipwreck. He realizes that he has ceased to feel the driving desire and ambition that had been behind his motivations in England and eventually in Brazil. Indeed, Robinson recognizes that a large part of those desires came from the existence of a powerful social hierarchy that made it easy for one to constantly wish to climb up onto the next rung. Now, without anyone else to compete against, he can finally learn to be content with what he has.

Of course, part of that contentment stems from the fact that in terms of possession or use, Robinson is much wealthier than he's ever been - he has the entire island at his disposal. Still, he makes the broader point that being surrounded by other people makes it easy to be jealous and over-ambitious, in the sphere of love and material possessions as well as life and social rank. It is easier for him to attempt to be a good, fully Christian person on the island than it was in society.

Chapter 14 Quotes

It happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition. ...I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the print of a foot - toes, heel, and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could I in the least imagine; but after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a man.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Footprint
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

For the past several chapters, Robinson has described to the reader in acute detail how he has developed a pleasant, sustainable life for himself on the island. He has learned to be content with what he has, and he hardly misses the excitement and companionship of society, having learned to exchange it for God's companionship. Suddenly, this mode of peaceful satisfaction is blown open. At first Robinson thinks the footprint must be an "apparition," a sign of the supernatural - he cannot bring himself to believe that it is truly another person.

Soon, though, Robinson recognizes the concrete reality of the footprint, and with it the undeniable fact of the presence of another person on the island, where he had previously thought himself not only alone, but indeed king and ruler of the entire place. Robinson has learned to move throughout the island easily and confidently, knowing that no one will disturb him. Now he believes he sees another human at every moment, and he cannot relax. This passage thus marks a turning point in Robinson's story. While he has spent the first part re-learning what it takes to survive, and coming to embrace isolation as a definitively positive trait in individual development, now he must also re-create basic social processes of competition and defense, though against an unknown other.

How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the life of man! and by what secret different springs are the affections hurried about, as different circumstances present! To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear, nay, even tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me, at this time, in the most lively manner imaginable; for I, whose only affliction was that I seemed banished from human society, that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut off from mankind, and condemned to what I call silent life; that I was as one whom Heaven thought not worthy to be numbered among the living, or to appear among the rest of His creatures; that to have seen one of my own species would have seemed to me a raising me from death to life, and the greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the supreme blessing of salvation, could bestow; I say, that I should now tremble at the very apprehensions of seeing a man, and was ready to sink into the ground at but the shadow or silent appearance of a man having set his foot in the island.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Footprint
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage is largely an intrusion by the Robinson Crusoe who is narrating the story, and who knows all that has happened and that will come to take place: he is therefore equipped with much greater knowledge and the ability to draw out greater meaning than the Robinson who is muddling his way through. With the self-awareness that comes from time, the narrator points out a central contradiction in his own reaction of fear and despair towards the footprint, evidence of the presence of at least one other human on the island. The only thing that has been difficult for Robinson on the island thus far has been the sense that he is "banished" from society and unable to interact with other human beings. This is why he taught Polly to talk, and it is why it has taken him so long to finally feel content with what he has, learning to see isolation as a virtue rather than as a curse.

It is ironic, then, that the possibility of what Robinson has hoped for for so long - other people with whom to talk and to live - is now the occasion for feelings of such terror. Part of the reason, of course, is that Robinson thinks that a "savage" must have come here, and he does not consider savages as equals. But also, Robinson is clearly still learning to come to terms with the winding realities of fate through the guiding structure of Christian Providence. 

Chapter 15 Quotes

And therefore it could not be just for me to fall upon them; that this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards in all their barbarities practiced in America, where they destroyed millions of these people; who, however they were idolators and barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous rites in their customs, such as sacrificing human bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent people; and that the rooting them out of the country is spoken of with the utmost abhorrence and detestation by even the Spaniards themselves at this time, and by all other Christian nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a bloody and unnatural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or man.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

Having spent several years developing a fortress and strategies of defense, Robinson has begun to plan how he might spring upon the "savages" and kill them by surprise. However, he soon begins to think better of this plan. Although the English had plenty of colonies themselves around this time, many Englishmen tended to view the process of Spanish colonization with disapproval, claiming that the Spaniards had treated natives with great brutality and cruelty, without any justification for such actions. If Robinson too were to kill the natives for no reason, he would be no better than the Spanish.

Robinson also begins to wonder if certain practices, such as those of human sacrifice, are as undeniably evil as they seem to him. He recognizes that he does not have the knowledge or capacity to fully judge other peoples whose customs are so different than his own. While Robinson maintains that his own Christian religion is superior, then, he does at least begin to express some openness regarding the potential legitimacy of unknown peoples' customs and cultures.

Chapter 21 Quotes

But it occurred to my thoughts, what call, what occasion, much less what necessity I was in to go and dip my hands in blood, to attack people who had neither done or intended me any wrong? who, as to me, were innocent, and whose barbarous customs were their own disaster, being in them a token, indeed, of God's having left them, with the other nations of that part of the world, to such stupidity, and to such inhuman courses, but did not call me to take upon me to be a judge of their actions, much less an executioner of His justice - that whenever He thought fit He would take the cause into His own hands, and by national vengeance punish them as a people for national crimes, but that, in the meantime, it was none of my business.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

Robinson and Friday have observed the cannibalistic rituals of people from Friday's tribe who come to the island with their prisoners of war. Robinson, disgusted and shocked by this practice, decides to lie in wait and kill them. Soon, however, he once again begins to question his confidence about what is right and wrong. Attempting to apply questions of morality to their behavior, he concludes that these people have not hurt him, and that it is not his place to judge or condemn their behavior. 

Of course, here Robinson shows little doubt that the strangers' actions are evil in the eyes of God, and that God (according to Robinson's understanding of Christian truth) will surely punish these peoples himself. However, this sense of cultural and religious superiority actually makes Robinson more reluctant to intercede against those he terms the "savages," since he considers it God's place, not his, to punish them.

Chapter 22 Quotes

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection, which I frequently made, how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country was my own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion. Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected - I was absolutely lord and lawgiver - they all owed their lives to me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me. It was remarkable, too, I had but three subjects, and they were of three different religions - my man Friday was a Protestant, his father was a Pagan and a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist. However, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Friday, Friday's Father, The Spanish Prisoner
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

After having begun his time on the island entirely alone, Robinson now has a relatively thriving community around him. The irony is that he has spent much of the book learning to embrace his isolated existence on the island, even claiming its superiority to the temptations of society. But rather than attempt to create another kind of society once he has assembled a group of people around him, Robinson seems to recreate a social hierarchy, making himself the king and the others his subjects.

Robinson does consider himself relatively more enlightened than European monarchs, since he allows freedom of religion in his "kingdom" - not something that was historically common at the time. He thus shows more openness towards different peoples and customs than might be expected for an Englishman of his time and place. At the same time, however, Robinson has hardly let go of the cultural and social assumptions with which he began his stay on the island.

So little do we see before us in the world, and so much reason have we to depend cheerfully upon the great Maker of the world, that He does not leave His creatures so absolutely destitute, but that in the worst circumstances they have always something to be thankful for, and sometimes are nearer deliverance than they imagine; nay, are even brought to their deliverance by the means by which they seem to be brought to their destruction.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker)
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

As Robinson looks at the English prisoners, he is reminded of how he himself felt when he first arrived on the island, as a prisoner not of a single person or group of men but of his own circumstances. This remembrance causes him to remind himself once again that even when he believed he was absolutely desperate, God's will was behind everything that was happening to him.

Indeed, Robinson can now comfort himself - with the benefit of hindsight - that he was never truly alone. Indeed, he has come to believe that everything he thought was a sign of his impending doom, such as his shipwreck and the lack of other humans on the island, was actually crucial in allowing him to survive, and thus was contributing to his "deliverance." Of course, it seems that this is a lesson that can only be learned little by little, according to a person's own experience, so it is doubtful whether or not Robinson's lessons are entirely relevant to the prisoners that now find themselves in a different desperate situation.

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Robinson Crusoe Character Timeline in Robinson Crusoe

The timeline below shows where the character Robinson Crusoe appears in Robinson Crusoe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...father's family (the Kreutznauers) were originally German. His mother was English, with the last name Robinson. He was named Robinson Kreutznauer, but the last name became corrupted in English, so he... (full context)
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Robinson felt a strong desire to go to sea, even though both his parents were against... (full context)
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Urging Robinson not to go, his father promised to help establish him in a comfortable life at... (full context)
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After speaking with his father, Robinson resolved to stay home, but this feeling wore off after a few days. He planned... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Robinson joined the London-bound ship on September 1st, 1651. The ship soon encountered a storm and... (full context)
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The sea got calmer as the storm died down, and Robinson joined some other sailors in getting drunk on some punch. In about six days, Robinson... (full context)
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Robinson was terrified, and some sailors said that the ship was going to founder (sink), though... (full context)
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After returning to shore, Robinson says that he should have gone back to Hull, but "ill fate" pushed him to... (full context)
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Robinson traveled to London by land, debating his next course of action. He says that some... (full context)
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According to Robinson, this was his only successful voyage. The ship's captain of the ship bound for Guinea... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Robinson prepared to go on the same voyage again, though the captain of the Guinea vessel... (full context)
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Along the way, Robinson's ship was captured by a Turkish pirate ship and he was taken as a prisoner... (full context)
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Robinson stayed in Sallee as a slave for two years, constantly thinking of a way to... (full context)
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When Robinson and Ismael went out to fish, Robinson deliberately lost any fish he had hooked, and... (full context)
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Robinson then turned to Xury and told him, "if you will be faithful to me I... (full context)
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Xury and Robinson did not sleep that night, as they heard strange creatures come into the water. One... (full context)
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Xury and Robinson saw no other humans around them. Robinson didn't know where exactly they were, but thought... (full context)
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Robinson decided to sail south, making for the Cape de Verd, where he knew European merchant... (full context)
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Some native inhabitants brought back food for Robinson and Xury. Then, two strange creatures came running down the mountains toward the water, frightening... (full context)
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The natives supplied Robinson with some fresh water and Robinson continued to sail south, until he neared the Cape... (full context)
Chapter 4
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The Portugese captain bought Robinson's small boat from him. He offered to buy Xury, as well, but Robinson was hesitant... (full context)
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Robinson had a safe voyage to Brazil and the Portuguese captain gave him money for some... (full context)
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Robinson soon found that he needed help working the land and regretted selling Xury to the... (full context)
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Moreover, Robinson was lonely. His only friend was Wells, a man of English descent who owned a... (full context)
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The kind Portuguese captain offered to have some of Robinson's money in England sent to Lisbon, so that he could then bring it to Robinson... (full context)
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Robinson had some success growing tobacco on his plantation, but says that this moderate success made... (full context)
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While in Brazil, Robinson spoke with some locals and other plantation owners and told them the story of his... (full context)
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Before leaving, Robinson arranged for people to look over his plantation and wrote a will, making the kind... (full context)
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About twelve days into the voyage, the ship encountered a hurricane and Robinson was sure that the ship would be sunk. The captain of the ship from Brazil... (full context)
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...sailor spotted land, but no one knew what land this was or where they were. Robinson and some others attempted to escape the ship on a smaller boat, which they tried... (full context)
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...humongous wave rose up before them and toppled their boat. Thrown into the violent sea, Robinson tried to hold his breath as waves drove him onto the shore. A wave slammed... (full context)
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Robinson says he never saw his shipmates after this and assumes they drowned. After thanking God... (full context)
Chapter 5
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When Robinson awoke the next day, the storm was gone. He saw his old ship stranded about... (full context)
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On the ship, Robinson found some food and other supplies. There were no small boats, though, so he had... (full context)
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Robinson's raft was unstable and he almost lost all of his provisions into the water several... (full context)
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On the way back to his cargo, Robinson shot a bird and says that this was the first time a gun had ever... (full context)
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Robinson went to the ship many more times, bringing back more food, tools, guns, and various... (full context)
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Robinson saw a raised plateau against a rock face and decided to move his tent there... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Robinson moved all of his things into this new dwelling and made a smaller tent within... (full context)
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After the storm, Robinson put his gunpowder into small containers and stored them all separately, so that if one... (full context)
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Robinson was pessimistic about his chances for being rescued and thought that it was a "determination... (full context)
Chapter 7
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To keep track of time, Robinson constructed a large wooden cross that he mounted on the shore and cut notches into... (full context)
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Robinson says that it was nearly a year before he finished building his dwelling, because he... (full context)
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...clothes, and had no method of defense against men or beasts. In the "good" column, Robinson listed that he was alive, not drowned, not starved, with provisions, and not in danger... (full context)
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Robinson set about enlarging the cave behind his tent and making his fence into more of... (full context)
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Robinson then gives the reader the text of his journal, which chronicles his time on the... (full context)
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The journal continues to narrate the events Robinson has just told the reader about: how he moved his things to the plateau under... (full context)
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Robinson made a makeshift pickaxe from some iron he salvaged from his ship and used the... (full context)
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Just as Robinson felt that his cave was complete, part of it collapsed and the earth above it... (full context)
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While hunting goats, Robinson crippled one and took it back to his dwelling, where he put the animal's leg... (full context)
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Digressing from his journal entries, Robinson describes how he looking in a bag of grain and found that it had been... (full context)
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Returning to the journal, in April Robinson finished making a ladder to climb over his wall (which he would take with him... (full context)
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Robinson was terrified but notes that he "had not the least serious religious thought," during the... (full context)
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Robinson planned to construct a wall similar to the one he already had elsewhere, in an... (full context)
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However, Robinson put this project on hold because he noticed on May 1 that the wreckage of... (full context)
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Robinson found a turtle on the shore, cooked it, and ate it. Soon after, he became... (full context)
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Dehydrated and feverous, Robinson had a dream that he was sitting outside his walled dwelling during an earthquake. A... (full context)
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Robinson admits that he had not had religious thoughts for some time and it had never... (full context)
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Robinson cried and prayed, remembering his father's warning that God would not bless him if he... (full context)
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The next day, Robinson felt slightly better but assumed that he would be sick again that night. Walking around,... (full context)
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Robinson drank some of the tobacco-water (mixed with rum) and fell asleep. For the first time,... (full context)
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Starting July 4, Robinson began to read the Bible seriously. He reflected on his earlier wicked life, repented, and... (full context)
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Having been on the island for ten months, Robinson was sure that he would never be rescued from it, and also sure that he... (full context)
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Robinson tried to bring some fruit back to his home, but most of it spoiled or... (full context)
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Robinson dried a great quantity of grapes he found, so that he had a large supply... (full context)
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After a period of incessant rain, Robinson realized that it was the one year anniversary of his arrival on the island. He... (full context)
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Robinson tried sowing some barley and rice, but after planting a great quantity of it, there... (full context)
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Returning after some time to his small dwelling in the forest, Robinson found that some of the stakes that he had cut from trees to use in... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Robinson learned that the year could be divided into the rainy and dry seasons. Having experienced... (full context)
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One day, Robinson journeyed to the opposite end of the island from where his home was. He saw... (full context)
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Robinson found this side of the island better than the one he had chosen to inhabit.... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Robinson journeyed back to his dwelling, which he now fondly thought of as his home. Along... (full context)
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One day, Robinson was again feeling sad about his circumstances, but he opened his Bible and read the... (full context)
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Robinson kept busy his third year on the island by hunting, building improvements for his dwelling,... (full context)
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Robinson reflects on how difficult it is to harvest grains and make bread. He had to... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Robinson set to work planting more crops and entertained himself by teaching his parrot, named Poll,... (full context)
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With his new pottery, Robinson was able to make a huge pot in which to boil meat. He made a... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Robinson often thought about the land he had seen from the other end of the island... (full context)
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Robinson returned to the small boat that had been washed ashore back when he was shipwrecked,... (full context)
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The canoe was about 100 yards away from a creek, so Robinson thought he might dig out a canal leading the water to the boat. He soon... (full context)
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On the fourth anniversary of his coming to the island, Robinson reflected on his situation. He says that he was free from the wickedness of the... (full context)
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Having no need for surplus food, Robinson only grew and hunted what he needed and concluded that the only value of things... (full context)
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Looking on the bright side of his situation, Robinson was thankful for what he had and especially thankful that his ship had been stranded... (full context)
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Moreover, Robinson was happy because he thought his previous life of wickedness, during which he and his... (full context)
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Thinking that God had accepted his repentance, Robinson was no longer sad and gave thanks for his new life. His ink was running... (full context)
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Robinson's clothes were starting to decay and he needed garments to protect him from the sun's... (full context)
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As Robinson became more comfortable on the island, he began to think that this life was better... (full context)
Chapter 12
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For five years after this, not much happened, as Robinson continued to grow barley and rice, harvest grapes and dry them into raisins, and hunt.... (full context)
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When he got to the western side of the island, Robinson went ashore, climbed a hill, and looked out on the water, seeing a dangerous current... (full context)
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Fortunately, though, Robinson was able to direct his small boat into an eddy that brought him back toward... (full context)
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Not wanting to risk the open sea again, Robinson piloted his boat into a river and harbored it in the stream before walking back... (full context)
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Robinson made it to his little dwelling in the forest, which he called his "country house,"... (full context)
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Robinson returned to his home, content to stay on his area of the island and resign... (full context)
Chapter 13
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In order to preserve ammunition, Robinson made traps to try to capture goats, so that he wouldn't have to shoot them.... (full context)
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Robinson exclaims, "how mercifully can our Creator treat his creatures," and says he dined like a... (full context)
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Robinson notes that he had a ridiculous appearance, with all of his ill-fitting clothes made of... (full context)
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Robinson describes the two "plantations" he had on the island. He had his main dwelling, fortified... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Robinson was shocked and frightened one day when he saw a man's footprint in the sand... (full context)
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Robinson was thankful that he was not seen by these savages, but worried that they would... (full context)
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Robinson continued to reflect on the situation and concluded that it was not his place to... (full context)
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After three days within his "castle," Robinson ventured out into the island again. He reasoned that the footprint could have been an... (full context)
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Robinson says that fear often causes men to discount reason and describes how he planned to... (full context)
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Robinson admits that he did not cry out to God in his distress instead of relying... (full context)
Chapter 15
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All because of his fear at seeing a single footprint, Robinson worked tirelessly in constructing his new goat pen, building a strong fence around it. He... (full context)
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Robinson then explored the island for another place to build a small livestock pen, and while... (full context)
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Robinson hurried back home and thanked God that he had not been born among such savages... (full context)
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Nonetheless, Robinson remained frightened for the next two years, during which time he never ventured beyond his... (full context)
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Robinson harbored thoughts of attacking the cannibal savages when they next landed on the island and... (full context)
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The more he thought about this, though, the more Robinson thought he had no right to intervene in the savages' lives. He thought that God... (full context)
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Robinson concluded that he had no right to kill the savages and thought of how this... (full context)
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Robinson considered the savages to be innocent "as to him," because they had not done anything... (full context)
Chapter 16
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For the next year, Robinson did not venture to where he saw the skulls and human bones to see if... (full context)
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Robinson realized that Providence often saves men when they are completely unaware of it, and that... (full context)
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Not wanting to be seen by anyone, Robinson decided only to burn fires at his dwelling in the forest, where he discovered a... (full context)
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Inside the cave was a kind of tunnel with a low roof, through which Robinson crawled to find a larger cavernous chamber with some kind of diamond or precious metal... (full context)
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Robinson says that he was now in his twenty-third year upon the island and was now... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Around December, Robinson's usual harvest time, he noticed a fire one day about two miles away from him... (full context)
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As soon as the savages left, Robinson walked to where he had first seen the skulls and human bones so long before.... (full context)
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After this, Robinson was continually worried that he would fall into the hands of savages at some point.... (full context)
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Robinson continued to be anxious and "slept unquiet." On the night of May 16, there was... (full context)
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The next day, Robinson saw a ship out on the ocean not moving. He went to the shore and... (full context)
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Seeing the wrecked ship made Robinson wish deeply that one or two sailors had made it to shore, so that he... (full context)
Chapter 18
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While Robinson wished that someone had survived the wreckage and made it to shore, he says that... (full context)
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Robinson couldn't resist his urge to go out to the stranded ship, both to see if... (full context)
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Robinson went back to land and climbed a hill to get a better view of the... (full context)
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The ship was a Spanish vessel, with many supplies on board. Robinson took some chests, some casks of liquor, some gunpowder, and some kitchen implements onto his... (full context)
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Robinson returned to his prior lifestyle on the island, but his mind was full of plans... (full context)
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But Robinson concedes that this kind of ambition and desire is typical of youth, and it is... (full context)
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Unable to sleep one night in March, Robinson thought over his life and how ignorant he was at first of the possibility of... (full context)
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...the savages themselves, wondering why God let them live their lives so horribly as cannibals. Robinson thought of how they were able to get to his island by boat, which led... (full context)
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Robinson knew that sailing to the "main land" would be dangerous, as he might fall into... (full context)
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Robinson finally fell asleep and dreamed that some savages came to his island preparing to eat... (full context)
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Nonetheless, Robinson's mind was now set on rescuing one of the savages' captives and making the captive... (full context)
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Robinson debated in his mind whether it was justifiable for him to kill some savages in... (full context)
Chapter 19
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About a year and a half after having these thoughts, Robinson woke one day to see five canoes landed on his side of the island. He... (full context)
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...creek and two of the savages pursued him, while the third was unable to swim. Robinson took a gun and went down from his hill. He waved to the fugitive and... (full context)
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The escaped prisoner was so frightened by the gunshot that he approached Robinson very gradually and tentatively. He kneeled on the ground and placed Robinson's foot on his... (full context)
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The savage Robinson had knocked out began to come to and sat up. The prisoner motioned toward Robinson's... (full context)
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Curious about the savage Robinson shot to death, he examined the body and its bullet wound. He buried both the... (full context)
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Robinson describes the attractive appearance of the tawny-skinned prisoner "with straight, strong limbs, not too large,... (full context)
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Friday and Robinson walked by where the two dead savages were buried in the sand, and Friday made... (full context)
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Robinson saw that the savages' canoes were gone, so he and Friday went to where the... (full context)
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Back in his "castle," Robinson made Friday some clothes, which it took him some time to get used to. Robinson... (full context)
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His experience with Friday prompted Robinson to reflect that God made all men with "the same powers, the same reason, the... (full context)
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This caused Robinson to wonder why Friday and his people were not given knowledge of Christianity and were... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Hoping to rid Friday of his cannibalism, Robinson took him one day to go kill a goat. Robinson shot a goat, and the... (full context)
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Robinson shot a bird to show Friday how the gun worked again, and Friday marveled at... (full context)
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Robinson cooked some goat for Friday, who enjoyed the meat (but would not eat it with... (full context)
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One day, Robinson asked Friday about his native land. Friday said that he had been captured with some... (full context)
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Robinson asked Friday about the land visible from the island, and learned that it was Trinidad... (full context)
Chapter 21
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After Friday learned to speak English almost fluently, Robinson taught him how to use a gun and gave him a hatchet. He told Friday... (full context)
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Robinson showed Friday the remains of the boat on which he'd tried to escape his shipwreck,... (full context)
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Robinson asked why Friday's people did not eat these white men, and Friday explained that they... (full context)
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But Friday showed nothing but friendliness and loyalty, and any suspicions Robinson had dwindled. He asked Friday if he wanted to go back to his native land,... (full context)
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Friday said he would only go back to his native land if Robinson would come, as well. He assured Robinson that he would tell his people to be... (full context)
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Robinson showed Friday his large canoe, which he hadn't been able to bring to the water.... (full context)
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Robinson said that he would stay on his island, but Friday gave him his hatchet and... (full context)
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Robinson and Friday worked hard, felling a tree near a river and making it into a... (full context)
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Now, after being on his island for 27 years, Robinson was convinced that his "deliverance was at hand." Nonetheless, he went about his planting, fencing,... (full context)
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As the weather improved, Robinson got ready for the voyage, and one day sent Friday to find a turtle on... (full context)
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Robinson armed Friday and himself with weapons and climbed his hill, from where he saw that... (full context)
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Friday and Robinson set out toward the savages, but Robinson's resolution in the attack wavered, as he wondered... (full context)
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Robinson and Friday went to the edge of a forest near the savages and saw that... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Robinson saw that the savages were about to kill their European prisoner, so he and Friday... (full context)
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Robinson gave the prisoner, who turned out to be Spanish, a sword and pistol. Together with... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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Robinson says that he now felt like the king of a populated island, with three subjects.... (full context)
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Robinson had Friday ask Friday's father if there was any chance that the escaped savages might... (full context)
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Robinson learned from the Spaniard that he had been aboard a Spanish ship with some Portuguese... (full context)
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Robinson asked the Spaniard how he and his sailors might respond to a proposal of escaping... (full context)
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Robinson planned to send Friday's father and the Spaniard back to the their people so that... (full context)
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Robinson thought this was a good idea, and so set about growing more crops, gathering and... (full context)
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Eight days later, Robinson was awoken by Friday running to him and shouting, "Master, master, they are come, they... (full context)
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Robinson was confused by this, especially because no English trade routes came this way and there... (full context)
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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... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...woods where they fell asleep, leaving the three prisoners on the shore. Seeing an opportunity, Robinson went to the prisoners and told them that he could help them. One of the... (full context)
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Robinson assured him that he was a man and asked what the prisoners' situation was. The... (full context)
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Robinson asked if they should try to kill the mutineers or take them prisoner. The captain... (full context)
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Robinson promised to help the captain and his men on two conditions: that they obeyed him... (full context)
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Robinson, the captain, and the two other prisoners attacked the mutineers, killing two. The captain promised... (full context)
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Now that the mutineers were taken care of, Robinson told the captain his story. The captain marveled at it and thought that Robinson was... (full context)
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The captain informed Robinson that there were still 26 mutineers aboard his ship, and therefore that he did not... (full context)
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...ship to the shore. The captain could see the men on the boat and told Robinson that three of them were honest, while the rest were not. The captain was frightened,... (full context)
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Two of the former mutineers were deemed by the captain to be honest, so Robinson armed them and they joined Robinson, Friday, the captain, and the captain's two men who... (full context)
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...boat and waited out on the water, while the other seven stayed on land. Now Robinson could not attack the seven on land without the three on the boat going back... (full context)
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Robinson sent Friday and the captain's mate onto the shore out of sight of the other... (full context)
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...The captain and Friday then attacked them, and the leader of the group was killed. Robinson and the rest of his group surrounded the mutineers and demanded their surrender, claiming that... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...told them that their fate was in the hands of the governor of the island: Robinson. The captain said that Robinson would probably send the mutineers to England to face justice,... (full context)
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Robinson ordered the captain to take Atkins and two more of the worst prisoners to his... (full context)
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Robinson sent the captain to speak to this second group of mutineers and see if they... (full context)
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Robinson and Friday now planned to stay on land and look after their prisoners, while the... (full context)
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The captain fired seven gunshots from the boat, the agreed-upon signal to Robinson that the ship was safely recaptured. Robinson went to sleep, tired, and was woken by... (full context)
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Robinson was so overcome with emotion he cried and couldn't speak. At last, he embraced the... (full context)
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The captain brought Robinson a gift from the ship: liquors, wine, tobacco, meat, sugar, flour, and many other supplies,... (full context)
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Robinson spoke to the prisoners as "the governor," and told them he had learned of their... (full context)
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The prisoners begged for mercy and Robinson gave them the option of staying on the island or going back on the ship... (full context)
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Robinson left the prisoners some weapons, including guns and gunpowder, and told them about the Spaniards... (full context)
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...ship and begged to be taken aboard, because the other three prisoners would kill them. Robinson took them aboard, they were "soundly whipped and pickled," and they became "very honest and... (full context)
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Robinson notes that this was the same day of the month on which he had escaped... (full context)
Chapter 25
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When Robinson returned to England, he felt like "as perfect a stranger to all the world as... (full context)
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Robinson decided to go to Lisbon with Friday to learn what had happened with his land... (full context)
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The Portuguese captain promised that Robinson would get his rightful fortune back, and Robinson thought of going over to Brazil to... (full context)
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Robinson was so overcome with emotion at this sudden influx of wealth that he became ill... (full context)
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Robinson says that he had "more care upon my head now than I had in my... (full context)
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Robinson says that he had a "strange aversion" to traveling to England by boat, and tells... (full context)
Chapter 26
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One night, Robinson's group encountered two wolves and a bear. The wolves attacked their guide, wounding him before... (full context)
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...hungry wolves in a forest. They circled around their horses and shot at the wolves. Robinson ignited a line of gunpowder on the ground that scared many of them away, and... (full context)
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Robinson and his fellow travelers finally made it to France and stopped in Toulouse, where the... (full context)
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From there, Robinson had an uneventful journey back to England, where he saw the kind widow again. He... (full context)
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Though comfortably established in England, Robinson could not help but want to go to sea again. The widow dissuaded him from... (full context)
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Robinson summarizes this journey, during which he revisited his island, where the Spaniards had established a... (full context)
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Then, Robinson sailed to Brazil, and sent more supplies, animals, and even women on a boat to... (full context)