Study Guide

Robinson Crusoe Writing Style

By Daniel Defoe

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 out the following passage:

The generous Treatment the Captain gave me, I can never enough remember; he would take nothing of me for my Passage, gave me twenty Ducats for the Leopard's Skin, and forty for the Lyon's Skin which I had in my Boat, and caused every thing I had in the Ship to be punctually deliver'd me, and what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the Case of Bottles, two of my Guns, and a Piece of the Lump of Bees-wax, for I had made Candles of the rest; in a word, I made about 220 Pieces of Eight of all my Cargo, and with this Stock I went on Shoar in the Brasils. (31)

As a man of trade, Crusoe is very interested in acquisition of goods and wealth, and here we can see him tallying up his stock and profit.

Also, did you notice Defoe's weird spelling and random capitalization decisions? For more on that, see "In a Nutshell."

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