Step 2: An excellent story about a group of boys surviving on a remote island is William Golding’s . The characters in this tale face similar challenges and fundamental questions of survival as Robinson Crusoe.
Robinson Crusoe survived by himself for 28 years on a remote island. We will be learning some survival tips so we’ll be able to survive, too, if we are thrown into a similar situation. We’ll be also looking at some other real-life survival stories and analyzing how others have successfully done this. (Of course, we don’t mean the stars of the Survivor TV show—they had cameramen who distributed bug repellent, treats and deodorant.)
Oh, and get this. Robinson Crusoe may or may not have been based on the true story of a real-life castaway. Yeah. His name was , and he was a Scottish sailor who got stranded on his own desert island off the coast of Chile for four very long years. Selkirk was eventually rescued in 1709 and his story appeared in print and periodicals in England. Did Defoe use him as the basis for his own Crusoe? It's entirely possible.
But, of course, it's not all about action, adventure, and real-life Scottish castaways. There are other reasons for the book's popularity at the time. Robinson Crusoe deals with many of the Big Issues on the minds of people in 18th-century England.
Well, fellow time travelers, there are obvious reasons, of course. Robinson Crusoe is, quite frankly, a very exciting story (yes, even centuries later). There are sailing ships and stormy seas and a desert island and guns and cannibals and, well, basically a whole bunch of rollicking action in exotic and faraway places. Who doesn't like novels packed with excitement and adventure?
Once you are finished with the novel or once Crusoe leaves the island, you will analyze his actions. You can write an essay or create a presentation like a PowerPoint to demonstrate your ideas and analysis. You should include specific examples from the text to support your points. Consider including the following points:
This is your second response to Robinson Crusoe. For this paper please focus on pp. 150-200. 2 pp. due 10/28.
In this section of the novel Crusoe establishes his dominion over the island and describes himself as King. Using specific references (quotes) to the text, develop an explanation for what this indicates about his attitude towards the island.
So he proses on, drawing, little bylittle, his own portrait, so that we never forget it—imprinting upon us indelibly, for he never forgets it either, hisshrewdness, his caution, his love of order and comfort andrespectability; until by whatever means, we find ourselves at sea,in a storm; and, peering out, everything is seen precisely as itappears to Robinson Crusoe.
Students should analyze Crusoe’s actions. They can write an essay or create a presentation like a PowerPoint explaining (with examples from the text, of course):
You might even have been in a Robinsonade yourself. Ever played the ? You know, the one where you list the books or movies or album you'd bring if you were going to be stranded all alone on a desert island? If so, you've just had yourself a Crusoe moment.
While the 18th century loved Robinson Crusoe, you might say that our own time has become a little Crusoe-obsessed as well. We've seen plenty of proper adaptations of Robinson Crusoe on the big and small screens (see "Best of the Web" for a list), but there's also a whole thriving genre out there known as the .
Step 2: Give students a quick summary of William Golding’s . By now, many high schoolers have read it, and we always love some good ol’ text-to-text connections. Beyond this, it is an excellent tale in which characters face similar challenges and fundamental questions of survival as Robinson Crusoe.
Daniel Defoe authored Robinson Crusoe before novels were novels. That is, before what we now know as the novel even really existed. This means a couple of things for our time-travelling Shmoopers:
Just because Robinson Crusoe was a bestseller in the 18th century, that doesn't mean that the book is going to look like a 21st-century bestseller. This is not you're holding in your hands.