Themes

Our detailed interpretation of Daniel Defoe's debut novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) focuses on the three defining themes of the story, all of which revolve around the main character: Robinson's Fear, Robinson and Religion, and Robinson as Colonist.

Robinson's fear is already evident on his first sea voyage when he is shipwrecked in a storm. He is only slightly luckier on his second voyage: after a sea battle, he is captured and enslaved by pirates. The third sea voyage also ends in disaster. The ship sinks, but the horrified Robinson is miraculously rescued once again.

Robinson's relationship with religion is first revealed in the dangerous situations he experiences at sea, in which he prays for his life. Miraculously stranded on the deserted Pacific island, the adventurer feels lucky to still be alive. He is grateful to God, especially when he becomes seriously ill and recovers and even survives an earthquake. Now he eagerly reads the Bible he has found in the wreckage and becomes a devout man. He is firmly convinced that he owes his salvation to divine providence.

We then talk about Robinson's arrogance and the way he feels he is king of his island. Here the castaway exhibits some of the typical characteristics of a colonist.

Our comprehensible interpretation is highly based on the text and offers you important food for thought for your own work. The themes described are illustrated with selected quotations from the book.

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