by Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Page Number). We used the 2008 Oxford World Classics edition.
By this time it blew a terrible Storm indeed, and now I began to see Terror and Amazement in the Faces even of the Seamen themselves. The master, tho' vigilant to the Business of preserving the Ship, yet as he went in and out of his Cabbin by men, I could hear him softly to himself say several times, Lord be merciful to us, we shall be all lost, we shall be all undone; and the like. (11)
Initially, the natural world is a terrifying place for Crusoe. The stormy sea sends him – and his shipmates – into a frenzy of fear and fright. The vicissitudes of nature often prompt Crusoe – and others – to turn to God for help. Here, the captain of the ship prays for assistance.
I bethought my self however, that perhaps the Skin of him might one way or other be of some Value to us; and I resolved to take off hers Skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work with him; but Xury was much the better Workman at it, for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed it took us up both the whole Day, but at last we got off the Hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our Cabbin, the Sun effectually dried it in two Days time, and it afterwards serv'd me to lye upon. (26)
Crusoe sees the utility and thus value of the natural world – for example, the lion's hide is something that he can sleep on.
I found also that the Island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good Reason to believe, un-inhabited, except by wild Beasts, of whom however I saw none, yet I saw Abundance of Fowls, but knew not their Kinds, neither when I kill'd them could I tell what was fit for Food, and what not; (46)
The island is uninhabited by people. Crusoe is in complete isolation, save for the beasts around him, and thus is in a state of nature.