Robinson Crusoe Study Guide

The experiences of Crusoe on his island, the primary part of Defoe’s novel, are based largely on the central occurrence in the life of an unrestrained Scotsman, Alexander Selkirk. Although it is possible, even most likely that Defoe fulfilled Selkirk prior to he wrote his book, he used just this one occurrence in the genuine sailor’s unstable history. In these days the island was referred to as the island of Juan Fernandez. Selkirk was not the first individual to be stranded here– a minimum of 2 other occurrences of singular survival are recorded. A Mosquito (Guyanese) Indian, Will, was abandoned there in 1681 when a group of buccaneers left at the approach of unknown ships. The pilot of Will’s ship claimed that another male had actually lived there for five years prior to being saved some years before. 3 years later on, Will was picked up alive and well by an exploration which contained William Dampier, a keen observer who was good enough to state that journey and a subsequent one in 1703, which Selkirk went to.

Dampier was sailing in command of a privateerting expedition that included two ships. Alexander was the very first mate on among them. The function was to harry the Spanish and Portuguese shipping off the estuary. Failing this, the buccaneers would try their fortune off the coast of Peru. As they reached the area of the Juan Fernandez islands, the ships could not agree on a course of action. By a stroke of bad luck, the ships were separated. Selkirk’s ship, the Cinque Ports, found herself in the Juan Fernandez islands, in excellent requirement of repair work. Stradling, captain of the ship, chosen to keepn 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 clothing and bed linen, with a fire-lock, some powder, bullets and tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible, mathematical instruments, and books … He built two huts with pimento trees, covered them with long turf, and lined them with the skin of goats, which he killed himself … he was considerably plagued by felines and rats … At his first coming on board with us, he had a lot forgot his language for desire of use, that we might rarely comprehend him.” Upon going back to England, Selkirk was spoken with by the author Richard Steele. His story appeared in the periodical The Englishman, and was a source of marvel for lots of. The bottom line: “he is happiest who boundaries his wishes to natural needs.”

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