“Why did Crusoe take the coins off the ship?”
Robinson Crusoe is the story of a man that was ship-wrecked on an island, alone, for years. When he first swam to the island he built a raft to transport as many goods as he could from the wrecked ship back to the island. After several days of getting the necessary food, clothes and tools, he came across a chest of gold coins. At first knowing they were useless, he decided to leave them to sink. On second thought, he brought them along. Why?
I think there are two potential reasons, the first of which is the most improbable; the second of which I think is the true reason.
Crusoe may have taken them off the ship because the thought of all that gold sinking to the bottom of the ocean was too much and he couldn’t part with all that money even if he couldn’t use it. Crusoe had been a bit greedy throughout his early life, and after running away from home, had wanted to make lots of money all the time. However, I think that this reason is not what motivated Crusoe because he was focused on survival, not money.
I believe that the true reason for Crusoe taking the coins to the island was because they offered comfort and hope to him. They offered comfort as they were a small part of the world he had just been separated from. The coins gave him hope that one day when he got off the island, he could get home, perhaps pay to get passage off the island. If you were stranded, alone, with little provision, having to rely solely upon your physical strength to survive and then on top of that penniless! When we live in a world where money is so important, as did Crusoe, it could be perhaps that the money offered hope to him. It offered a small remembrance of the life he used to live. It gave him hope that if he could get off the island, he would get back home. That is why Crusoe took the gold coins off the wrecked ship.