Robinson Crusoe Quotes

"That boy might be happy if he would stay at home, but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that was ever born; I can give no consent to it." (Robinson's father, I Go to Sea, p. 5)

Robinson's father has foreshadowed Robinson's future in this quote. Robinson wants to sail the seas and find adventure, which is contrary to his father's career choice. His father wanted Robinson to become a lawyer, because it is a safe and respectable career. He knows that going to sea is fraught with danger and uncertainty, therefore he cannot give his approval of his son's choice. In the end his father is right, because Robinson becomes a pirate's slave and then is alone on an island for twenty-eight years.

"...I saw my fate to my great affliction, viz., that I was in an island environed every way with the sea, no land to be seen, except some rocks which lay a great way off, and two small islands less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west." (Robinson Crusoe, I Furnish Myself with Many Things, pp. 50 - 51)

Robinson, after landing on the island, begins to look around to try to find out where he is and what is on the island. After walking up a hill, he can see a great distance around the island. There he discovers, to his distress, the island is indeed surrounded by water and the nearest islands are about three leagues away. This discovery makes his feelings of isolation complete, so he decides to try to find a way to make his life more comfortable by building himself a type of home and salvaging as much as he could from the ship.

"...and when I looked about me and considered what particular providences had attended me since my coming into this place, and how God had dealt bountifully with me; had not only punished me less than my iniquity had deserved, but had so plentifully provided for me; this gave me great hopes that my repentance was accepted, and that God had yet mercy in store for me." (Robinson Crusoe, I Make Myself a Canoe, pp. 127 - 128)

Robinson has become more religious living on the island than at any other time in his life. He is thankful to God for providing him with enough food, water, and shelter to live as comfortably as possible on the island. He also feels a great deal of remorse for how he lived his life before coming to the island and has come to the conclusion that God is treating him more mercifully than he deserves to be treated. He has asked God for forgiveness of his sins and feels the fruits of his labors on the island; growing the crops, building his home, and finding enough meat to eat are signs that God has forgiven his sins.

"In that very moment, this poor wretch seeing himself a little at liberty, Nature inspired him with hopes of life, and he started away from them, and ran with incredible swiftness along the sands directly towards me..." (Robinson Crusoe, I Hear the First Sound of a Man's Voice, p. 196)

This is the description of how Friday makes his escape from the cannibals who captured him. Robinson has had a dream in which he helps a prisoner escape and the man then lives with him. Robinson, from that night on, decides if he is ever put in the position in which he could help someone escape the cannibals, he would. He has been watching Friday and his fellow prisoner trying to think of a way to help them, when Friday makes his own way toward Robinson. Friday and Robinson together fight off the men, who are chasing Friday, so he can have his freedom. This is the first time Robinson and Friday meet and also the first time in 25 years Robinson hears another human beings voice.

"Let no man despise the secret hints and notices of danger, which sometimes are given him, when he may think there is no possibility of its being real." (Robinson Crusoe, We Quell a Mutiny, p. 244)

Friday has spotted a ship approaching the island. He thinks it is the Spaniard and his father returning from Friday's country with the other Spanish men, who had been marooned there for a number of years. Robinson has promised to build a boat large enough to take them all back to civilization. But, instead this ship flies the English flag and is not the type of ship the Spaniard would use to sail back to the island. At first Robinson is happy, because he thinks this ship might be his way off the island. Then he rethinks the situation and asks himself why an English ship would be so far away from the usual shipping routes. Since there had been no storms to push the ship off course, the only thing he can conclude is the men on board are not honest men. He attributes this intuition to the ability to see beyond what is apparent and look for clues that are no so obvious. The clues in this case are the fact the ship is not in a normal shipping route and the lack of storms. He is happy he listened to his inner misgivings, because the ship's sailors had mutinied.

"And thus I left the island, the 19th of December, as I found by the ship's account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days; being delivered from this second captivity the same day of the month that I first made my escape in the barco-longo, from among the Moors of Sallee." (Robinson Crusoe, We Seize the Ship, pp. 270 -271)

Robinson is overjoyed because he is finally on his way back to England. He has helped the captain of the mutinied ship regain control of his vessel and as a thank-you the captain is taking him and Friday to England. Robinson also notes it is the same day of the month in which he made his escape from the pirate who enslaved him many years before. Robinson has been on the island for over twenty-eight years, so he now realizes the world he once knew is not the world he will be returning to. Many changes will greet him in both how people live and who is left to greet him upon his return to England.

Related Links:

Robinson Crusoe Summary
Robinson Crusoe Quiz
We Cross the Mountains - I Revisit My Island Summary
I Go to Sea - I Go on Board in an Evil Hour Summary
I Furnish Myself with Many Things - The Journal: It Blows a Most Dreadful Hurricane Summary
Robinson Crusoe Important Characters
Literature Summaries
Daniel Defoe Facts

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