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Analysis

Literary Devices in Robinson Crusoe

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

As a mariner and traveler, the sea plays a pretty big part in Crusoe's life. Whenever a storm hits the ocean, Crusoe is immediately penitent and begs God for help. When the skies are clear and the...

Setting

Crusoe begins his journey in September 1659 and travels to Africa, Brazil, and a lost island in the Atlantic. He moves primarily through and around the Atlantic Ocean. In this sense, the setting of...

Narrator Point of View

Robinson Crusoe tells his own story retrospectively from his personal point of view. This means we get to read every little detail that goes on his head – very important, since we'll be intereste...

Genre

Robinson Crusoe is, quite frankly, a very exciting adventure story. There are sailing ships and stormy seas and a desert island and guns and cannibals and, well, basically a whole bunch of rollicki...

Tone

Since Crusoe's story also doubles as his spiritual autobiography, he frequently reflects on his life as a sinner. After his conversion, he often engages in various religious observations.

Writing Style

As a tradesman, Crusoe likes to take stock of his surroundings and describe things in great detail. He often catalogues his inventory – whether on the ship or on the island. For example, check ou...

What's Up With the Title?

The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, also known simply as Robinson Crusoe, is the story of one solitary, individual man who is stranded all alone on a desert island. As he's the prim...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of the novel, Crusoe returns to Europe, where he comes into a great deal of money from his sugar plantations. He then gets married, has children, and eventually revisits his island. The...

Tough-o-Meter

Crusoe is an adventure novel, sure, but it's an 18th-century adventure novel. The large blocks of text and occasional archaic spelling mean that this book can be tough stuff for some younger reader...

Plot Analysis

Crusoe wants to see the world. His father forbids it.Crusoe is the youngest of his middle-class family. He is curious and wants to travel the world and sail the seas. His father doesn't think this...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Youthful RebellionBefore landing on the island, Crusoe's father wants him to be a good, middle-class son. Crusoe, who wants nothing more than to travel the world in a ship, is definitely not into t...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Before landing on the island, Crusoe's father wants him to be a good, middle-class son. Crusoe, who wants nothing more than to travel the world in a ship, is definitely not into this idea. He strug...

Trivia

Alexander Selkirk was a real-life 18th-century castaway who was stranded for four years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile. He is generally thought to have inspired Defoe's Robinson Cr...

Steaminess Rating

Though there are no women in the novel, there is some perhaps underlying tension between Crusoe and Friday. Take, for example, this excerpt in which Crusoe is watching Friday sleep:He was a comely...

Allusion

The Bible is the ultimate intertext in Robinson Crusoe and appears continuously throughout the novel. For more on this topic, see "Themes: Religion."
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