Robinson Crusoe Lesson Plan

The primary part of Defoe’s book is focused largely on the main event in the life of a real Scotsman, Alexander Selkirk. Although it is possible, even likely, that Defoe satisfied Selkirk prior to he wrote his book, he utilized just this one event in the real sailor’s rough history to construct his own story. At the time, the island was called the island of Juan Fernandez. Selkirk was not the very first individual to be stranded here– at least two other incidents of solitary survival are tape-recorded. A Mosquito (Guyanese) Indian, Will, was abandoned there in 1681 when a group of buccaneers ran away at the approach of unknown ships. The pilot of Will’s ship declared that another guy had actually lived there for 5 years prior to being saved.

Selkirk was the very first mate on a privateering exploration when his ship, the Cinque Ports, wound up in the Juan Fernandez islands, in terrific need of repair. Stradling, captain of the ship, kept an account of the rescue: “Twas he that made the fire last night when he saw our Ships, which he judged to be English … he had with him his clothes and bedding, with a fire-lock, some powder, bullets and tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible, mathematical instruments, and books … He constructed 2 huts with pimento trees, covered them with long grass, and lined them with the skin of goats, which he eliminated himself … he was significantly pestered by felines and rats … At his very first coming on board with us, he had a lot forgot his language for desire of use, that we could hardly understand him.” Upon returning to England, Selkirk was spoken with by the writer Richard Steele. His story appeared in the periodical The Englishman, and provided marvel for lots of. The bottom line: “he is happiest who confines his wishes to natural necessities.”

Robinson Crusoe is typically thought about one of the first examples of “survival fiction,” a genre that includes modern-day examples such as the tv show Gilligan’s Island, the movie Cast Away, and Yann Martel’s novel The Life of Pi.

Key Aspects of Robinson Crusoe


We get the sense that the events in the story could effectively be true, as the narrator relates genuine places and circumstances from the time period. The following practical and historic tone of the book is further helped with by Defoe’s journalistic narrative design. In addition, the storyteller shares deep insights, thoughts about his own life, and frequently shares recommendations about how one must live. This offers the novel a didactic tone, which takes on tips of the spiritual and religious due to the character’s enlightenment throughout the story.


The story is set in the middle of the 17th century. The retrospective narrative starts in England, where Crusoe is from, and follows Crusoe’s adventures down the Atlantic to the coast of West Africa, across the Atlantic to Brazil and up the coast of South America to a deserted island. Nautical images supplies the sense of adventure throughout the beginning of the novel, after which life on the island supplies the main setting for the events of the story. Due to the fact that the story spans the Atlantic Ocean and represents and includes trading of products and servants, the setting is mostly the setting of these historic paths. It likewise includes a voyage over land from Portugal through Spain and France.


Crusoe is the story’s very first person storyteller. It is autobiographical and journalistic in design.

Character development

Crusoe is an independent thinker and hard worker throughout the course of the novel. He is shrewd and outlining when it comes to both his financial affairs and his escape from slavery. Unsure of his own choices early on, questioning his sense of direction, yet plainly relocated to make his own choices, he gets confidence through experience and establishes an internal compass that assists him to endure the most challenging scenarios. Though he is not the most sensitive when it concerns others, often assisting individuals merely so that they will serve his interests, he is logical and reasonable throughout the story. His biggest advancement remains in his ability to survive on his own, to obtain and to handle a fortune that supports many others.


Slavery, Subjugation: The story occurs at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Not just does this set the tone of the unique, however it likewise plays out in both direct and subtle events in the story. Characters are frequently captured and subjugated by others and the primary character is at one time a slave himself.

Faith and Spirituality: The main character at first rebels versus his Christian background and training, entering his own gratitude for it at challenging times later, finally improving it into a form that suits his character. The spirituality and rituals of Caribbean locals are discussed superficially but primarily supply a background for unrelated occasions.

Mankind in Nature and the Natural Order: Crusoe deals with horrible storms at sea, severe weather condition, destitution, and seclusion. He sustains all of these and typically victories, and whether alone or in the business of others, he provides voice to a power struggle between himself and the world around him.

Self-Reliance: Crusoe learns how to make it through entirely on his own, and he even becomes persuaded that he prefers living a life of solitude. Even from the start, he is a character who seeks his own path, even if it implies risking whatever.


The Footprint: The footprint Crusoe discovers is an effective pointer of the presence of other individuals. At this moment in the story, he has all however forgotten the world far from the island. He is completely self-reliant and happy. The footprint symbolizes a society of others, a world of compromise and possible condition. Crusoe considers it to come from the devil or to a cannibal, symbolizing his deepest worries of “the other.”

Ships/Boats: Vessels represent Crusoe’s consistent desire to escape, to be carried away, to leave, and to discover something different or perhaps better.

The Nation House: Back in England, a nation house would be a sign that one is established and settled. The location Crusoe builds far from his first habitation on the island is a sign of Crusoe’s contentment with his facility on the island. He has discovered peace, not just survival.


There are lots of amazing minutes within this book which take on the story’s main climax. Eventually, however, Crusoe’s journey to England over land, in which he encounters bears, wolves and severe weather condition, offers the arc of the story with a climax, as Crusoe prepares to return home. England turns out to be more of a metaphorical home than a genuine one, however, and he sets out for experience again in the end.


Robinson Crusoe is an experience, and a kind of a hero’s journey. We begin with his personal history, his home and his household, and he sets out as a boy, finding and conquering numerous trials along the method. The story nearly ends where it began, but circle once again: Crusoe leaves the place of his origin for very same world he set out for decades prior to.

You Might Also Like