by Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Page Number). We used the 2008 Oxford World Classics edition.
My Father, a wise and grave Man, gave me serious and excellent Counsel against what he foresaw was my Design. He call'd me one Morning into his Chamber, where he was confined by the Gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this Subject: He ask'd me what Reasons more than a meer wandring Inclination I had for leaving my Father's House and my native Country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my Fortunes by Application and Industry, with a Life of Ease and Pleasure. (5-6)
Robinson Crusoe's father is introduced right away, and with good reason. As the prodigal son, Crusoe must deny his father's advice in order to follow his own "wandring Inclination." Crusoe's relationship with his biological father can be read as an earthly version of his relationship to his spiritual father (i.e., God). We'll see Crusoe consistently denying the power and authority of God as well – at least in the first half of the novel.
…I went on Board in an evil Hour, the 1st of Sept. 1659, being the same Day eight Year that I went from my Father and Mother at Hull, in order to act the Rebel to their Authority, and the Fool to my own interest. (36)
Most of the poor decisions Crusoe makes in his life, he traces back to the initial rebellion against his parents – especially his father.
It would have made a Stoick smile to have seen, me and my little Family sit down to Dinner; there was my Majesty the Prince and Lord of the whole Island; I had the Lives of all my Subjects at my absolute Command. I could hang, draw, give Liberty, and take it away, and no Rebels among my subjects. (125)
Crusoe's family consists of his pets on the island. Notice that the structure of the family is hierarchical, with Crusoe at the head.