I first read Robinson Crusoe when I was about twelve. I found it a bit boring, but I liked the part he spent on the island. Now, reading it again I can actually appreciate the beginning of the book—the part that forms the character. Defoe wrote the book very well and developed the character into someone we can relate to. His struggles and joys make the story.
The book begins with Crusoe living with his parents. He feels a great desire to go out and have an adventure. He doesn’t want to live the mundane life that his parents want him to lead. They give him advice against leaving and throwing away a secure life. He runs away, in effect, and gains passage aboard a ship. After a few mishaps and several mini-adventures aboard different ships, he finds himself a household slave. He manages to gain his freedom with a young boy. They sail south along the African coast, until a Portuguese ship rescues them. All along this time, Crusoe regrets, repents and reaffirms his resolve for adventure in turn. He regrets disobeying his parents, yet he never quite goes back. Finally, on one voyage the ship capsizes in a storm and he finds himself the sole survivor on an island. And there the story really “begins.” Continue reading