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Robinson Crusoe Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

Robinson Crusoe PDFImagine you are alone on a deserted island.

What would you think? What would you do?

Read our summary and allow Robinson Crusoe to give you an idea of how that feels like.

Who Should Read “Robinson Crusoe”? And Why?

“Robinson Crusoe” is primarily a story about survival: Crusoe is stuck on an island, and he needs to find food, shelter, and arm himself to fight off any threats to his life.

Sure, you can look at it this way.

However, at the same time, it is a book about introspection, as the character learns to change his worldviews and adapt to the new environment he is forced to live in.

We recommend this classic to all readers interested in adventure stories.

Daniel Defoe Biography

Daniel DefoeDaniel Defoe was an English writer, journalist, and spy.

His book, Robinson Crusoe, is the most widely translated book in the world, second to the Bible.


Robinson Crusoe is the son of a merchant in the town of York, whom his father encourages to get an education in the field of law. However, he does not want the same future for himself and instead expresses her plan to go out to sea.

Of course, his family is against it since they do not consider it a secure lifestyle choice, but although he initially follows their wishes, in the end, he cannot resist temptation and follows his passions.

The first ship he gets into for London gets into a storm which discourages his friends’ similar wishes to spend his life at sea, so Crusoe is left alone for the rest of the journey.

He joins a merchant ship that departs from London, and with the trip ending up financially successful, he decides to set off again.

However, the second trip is not as fortunate as the first one – in fact, it results in him being enslaved in North Africa.

Thankfully, he manages to break free, along with one other slave boy and he sets sails down the African coast.

On this voyage, he meets a Portuguese captain that is kind enough to buy off the slave boy from him and to drop Crusoe off at Brazil.

In Brazil, Crusoe soon becomes successful as a plantation owner. For further success, he needs more workforce, and so he embarks on an expedition to West Africa where he hopes to gather more slaves.

On this expedition, he is shipwrecked on an island (he finds this out later), as the sole survivor of the whole crew.

He, therefore, fathers food, powder, guns and whatever else he can find from the wrecks and seeks shelter for himself. As the days pass by, he finds goats that he can eat the meat off and builds a cross with the date of his arrival inscribed on it.

He also keeps a diary in which he notes all of his household activities and everyday events.

One day, he falls sick, and he hallucinates that an angel comes to see him, and gives him the advice to repent. He soon undergoes a religious enlightenment and believes that his situation is God’s way to deliver him from his sins.

Once he finds out that he is on an island, he starts calling himself a king and develops different sets of skills such as bread making, basket weaving, and pottery. He also builds a small boat and rows around the island to explore it. As he does so, he is nearly swept away by the current.

When he hears his pet parrot calling him, he is thankful to be on the island and be saved once again.

He lives a completely peaceful life until he discovers a human footprint on the beach a few years later.

The first thing that comes to mind to him is that the devil has left the footprint, but after some time of rational thinking, he comes to the conclusion that it is probably a footprint of some of the cannibals he has heard that live in the region.

His beliefs about the existence of cannibals get stronger as he finds human carnage all over the beach shore, which looks like leftovers from a cannibal feast.

Later, he faces these cannibals, as thirty of them are taking their victims to the shore. One of the victims is dead, while the other one, not slaughtered yet, manages to escape and runs toward Crusoe.

Crusoe is well armed, so he protects him and manages to defeat the cannibals.

The man that was freed is grateful for his salvation, so he vows to be loyal to Crusoe.

That is how Crusoe meets the man which he later names Friday (like the day he saved him).

Friday is intelligent, so Crusoe begins teaching him English and introduces to him some elementary concepts of Christianity.

As Friday learns how to communicate to Crusoe, he explains more about the cannibals and tells him that the victims of the shipwreck were saved by them and that they are living nearby.

They decide to go and visit the victims (called Spaniards) in the cannibals’ land together.

However, before they can do as they plan, they see the arrival of twenty – one cannibal on the shore, which are bringing three other victims.

Robinson Crusoe Epilogue

Crusoe and Friday manage to save one of the victims, who later turns out to be Friday’s father.

Soon, they notice an English ship approaching the shore. They see that some of the ship’s men stay behind to guard some captives, while other men explore the island.

Crusoe is suspicious, so he defeats the men from the crew and frees the captives, finding out that one of them is the ship’s captain taken in mutiny.

That is how Crusoe gets the chance to board the ship back to England.

However, what does he find there?

How has the world changed since he was gone? What happens to the island after he took his leave?

Well, to find that out, you will have to read the book.

It would not be fair of us to spoil everything for you, after all!

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Robinson Crusoe PDF Quotes”

It is never too late to be wise. Click To Tweet Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself. Click To Tweet Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it. Click To Tweet All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have. Click To Tweet For sudden Joys, like Griefs, confound at first. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Robinson Crusoe” was one of those books I had to read when I was a high schooler. Although I did not like most of the books they made us read, this one really struck my heartstrings.

I still like it, on the second, as on the third read. I have also watched many of the adaptations, but the movie is rarely better than the source it is based on.

So, read it.

A good adventure story is always a good idea after all!

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