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Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe


by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe Timeline and Summary

  • Crusoe's father wants him to be a good, middle-class guy, but Crusoe wants to have adventures on the high seas. He struggles against the authority of both his father and God and decides to go adventuring on the sea.
  • Crusoe makes a bit of money in trade.
  • Next, he's captured and made into a slave off the coast of Africa.
  • Here he befriends a young man named Xury, with whom he escapes from captivity.
  • Picked up by a Portuguese sailing captain, Crusoe makes it to Brazil where he buys a sugar plantation.
  • Crusoe soon becomes involved in a venture to procure slaves from Africa. On the voyage there he gets shipwrecked and is left as the only survivor on a deserted island.
  • On the island he builds three main structures: his initial shelter, his country home on the opposite side of the island, and his guns and ammo fort in the woods.
  • Crusoe spends his time planting corn, barley, and rice. He learns to make bread. He builds furniture, weaves baskets, and makes pots. Crusoe also raises goats and tends to his little animal family of cats, dogs, and a parrot.
  • Alone on the island, Crusoe becomes stronger in his religious faith, eventually submitting to the authority of God. He devotes himself to much religious reflection and prayer.
  • One day, Crusoe sees a footprint on the shore one day and learns that he's actually not alone on the island. There are also cannibals…
  • Eventually, he meets with Friday, a native man whom he is able to rescue from the cannibals. Crusoe teaches Friday English and converts him to Christianity.
  • Friday and Crusoe rescue a Spaniard and Friday's father from a different group of cannibals.
  • An English longboat full of sailors lands on the island. Crusoe learns that the men have mutinied against their captain. After Crusoe helps restore order to the ship, the men and captain pledge allegiance to Crusoe and agree to take him home.
  • Crusoe then returns to Europe with Friday, where he comes into a great deal of money from his sugar plantations.
  • Crusoe gets married and eventually revisits the island in his late years.