Robinson Crusoe English Summary

Key Information

Author: Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

Type Of Work: Novel

Genre: Adventure; Novel of Isolation

Language: English

Written Time: 1719

Written place: London, England

Date Of First Publication: 1719

Publisher: William Taylor

Narrator: Robinson Crusoe is both the narrator and main character of the tale.

Point Of View: Crusoe narrates in both the first and third person.

Tense: Past

Time Setting: From 1659 to 1694

Place setting: York, England; then London; then Sallee, North Africa; then Brazil; then a deserted island off Trinidad; then England; then Lisbon; then overland from Spain toward England; then England; and finally the island again

Protagonist: Robinson Crusoe


The ambivalence of mastery; the necessity of repentance; the importance of self-awareness

Motifs: Counting and measuring; eating; ordeals at sea

Symbols: The footprint; the cross; Crusoe’s bower

Character List of Robinson Crusoe

  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Friday
  • The Portuguese captain
  • The Spaniard
  • Xury
  • The widow


“Robinson Crusoe” is a famous novel. The novel is written by a famous English businessman, writer, journalist, and detective Daniel Defoe. The novel was published in 1719. This novel is a fictional autobiography of a man named Robinson Crusoe. This man lived in isolation on a deserted equatorial island near Venezuela for 28 years. During that time he had many conflicts with American tribes, prisoners, and rebels. Later his relatives rescued him from there. In this novel, Robinson Crusoe made a total of four sea voyages, let us know them step by step.

Introduction to Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe was born in 1632 in a noble family in the city of York, England. His father wanted him to become a lawyer. Because of this, his father wanted to teach him Law. But he did not like his father’s wish. Robinson wanted to travel and explore the unknown. When he told his father he didn’t want to study, he wanted to sail and travel abroad, his father forbade him to go on a sea voyage and warned him of many horrors of sea voyages.

But from childhood, Robinson wanted to be a sailor and do various adventurous activities. For a while, Robinson repressed his desire to sail, as his father had said, but that did not mean he had forgotten his dream of sailing. Robinson almost thought he would run away from home if necessary to pursue his dream. When he was 19 years old, he got an opportunity to go on a voyage. He ran away from home without telling anyone and went on a voyage.

Robinson’s First voyage

Robinson started his maiden voyage on 1 September 1651. A friend of Robinson’s father was going to London by ship, so Robinson received an invitation from the friend to go on the voyage. Robinson decided to take his first sea voyage from home to London without telling his parents. Because of this, he left the house without telling anyone.

But unfortunately, their ship suffered from the very beginning of the journey. Not far from the harbor, their ship encountered a strong storm. Robinson was frightened by the great waves of the stormy sea and became ill immediately, vowing never to sail again if he could ever get back from here. In this way, the stormy waves of the sea continued for two days. Then the sea calmed down a bit.

On the eighth day, a great wave crashed over the ship and the ship began to sink. The ship’s captain called out for help. They were lucky because another ship was heading in that direction. That ship picked everyone up in their lifeboats. Finally, he arrived in London by land.

Robinson’s second voyage to Guinea

Within a few days of his arrival in London, he made friends with many prominent people. One of his friends was the captain of a ship bound for Guinea in Africa. He was engaged in the shipping business which allowed him to travel almost to the coast of Guinea. That captain said to Robinson one day, if you go to the coast of Guinea on my ship with some precious goods, you can earn a large amount of money. Robinson wanted to do something like this. Then, in the name of God, Robinson embarked on his second journey. Robinson made a fortune on this journey.

He left his winnings with a friend, a thoughtful widow. Robinson then proceeded to make preparations for a second trade in Guinea.

Robinson’s third Voyage

For a little more profit, Robinson made a second trade voyage to Guinea. On their way back from trading in Guinea some pirates attacked their ship and captured everyone including him and sold them as slaves. Robinson was sold to a boss in Sallee, South Africa. Robinson’s boss was actually a very good man. He loved Robinson very much.

Robinson was always trying to find ways to escape from his master. But he was not getting any chance to escape. He spent almost two years here. One day he got a chance to escape. He goes fishing in the sea with a Moor boy and another boy named Xury. Robinson maneuvered the boat into a slightly deeper sea and pushed the Moor boy into the water and threatened to shoot him if he did not return home.

After struggling for two days, a Portuguese ship was seen. As the ship approached them, Robinson told the ship’s sailors everything. The ship’s sailors took Robinson on board and landed him in Brazil’s harbor, and the ship’s captain bought the Xury from Robinson for his work.

In Brazil, Robinson had a very happy day for a few days. He bought uncultivated land and started farming there. By farming, he brought about a considerable change in his own condition, and there he succeeded as a colonist. Robinson became interested in learning about the slave trade and its economic benefits at the time in Brazil. The natives there advised him to go to Guinea to trade. Robinson was seafaring, and when locals told him about the slave trade in Guinea, Robinson set off again to collect slaves.

Robinson’s fourth voyage to trade in Guinea

Robinson set out for Guinea for the fourth time from Bazil to trade. For the first few days of the voyage, they were going very well, but suddenly there was a great storm at sea. Robinson’s ship ran aground near the island of Trinidad in that storm. The bottom of their ship gets so stuck in the sand that they can’t move the ship out of it.

In an effort to save their lives, they set off for the shore in the small boats that were kept on the ship, but due to bad weather, a strong wave overturned their boats. They all drowned. Robinson somehow survived and swam to an island with great difficulty.

When Robinson woke up in the morning, he noticed that the storm had brought their large ship almost to shore. Robinson thought that if they had stayed on the ship, maybe no one would have died today. He went to the ship to look for food and found that the ship’s food was all right. He collected supplies from the ship.

Then from the ship, he brought several planks and carpenter’s tools ashore. Robinson built a makeshift raft. After 14 days of coming to this island, there was such a storm in the sea that it took away his broken ship. However, he explored the island and gradually updated his raft.

Robinson’s life on a deserted island

Robinson gradually got better at making tools. He built a large wooden cross to mark days in order to keep track of time. 

Meanwhile, a funny thing happened. Robinson dumped out some husks of grain and was surprised when, soon after, rice and barley started to grow. He was very happy. He cultivated some more land. He hunted goats and made clothing with the furs.

One day, Robinson fell ill and had a vision of an angel coming to him and commanding him to repent of his past sins. At that time he felt a religious urge in him. He started reading the Bilbe, which he recovered from the ship. He became more optimistic and considered himself the king of the island.

He then builds a small boat and tries to sail around the island. But he was almost killed by a huge wave. Once again he thanked the creator for getting back his life.

Human footprints on the beach

Robinson was walking along the beach. Suddenly he noticed human footprints. After seeing this he became very worried. At first, he thought they might be Satan’s footprints. So he started living in fear. He walked in fear all day, but at night he dreamed that some men were coming towards him to attack him.

Robinson realized they were the footprints of cannibals. Insecure, he reinforced the walls of his house to prevent anyone from attacking him. Even so, Robinson’s fear did not go away. He armed himself and went looking for the cannibals. He kept his goats in his basement and cooked there.

Suddenly there are five boats on the shore of the sea

Robinson spent almost two years through all this trouble. Robinson has almost forgotten those fears now. As soon as Robinson woke up one morning and went out, he saw five boats on the shore of the sea. Robinson climbed the hill to see the boats more clearly. From there, what Robinson saw left his hands and feet cold. About 30 cannibals are dancing around a huge coil of fire and screaming wildly and horribly.

A moment later the cannibals dragged the two men from their boat onto the sand on the shore. Killed one immediately. And the other untied his hands and ran. The cannibals kept running after him. But the cannibals couldn’t run with the man. The man was coming straight at Robinson. Robinson was hiding behind a bush and watching everything.

A few Cannibals followed the escaped boy. Robinson decided to save the boy, so he killed one of the cannibals with his gun.

Rescued on Friday

The three cannibals who came to kill the boy were well dealt with by Robinson, The boy then repeatedly thanked Robinson. 

Robinson gave the man something to eat and then showed him a bed and told him to sleep. The man was almost half dead with fear and hunger and thirst. The man accepted Robinson’s settlement. This whole incident took place on Friday. So, Robinson named the man Friday.

Making Friday Efficient

Robinson carefully taught him some English words and religious knowledge. Friday told Robinson that cannibals are divided into several species and that they capture and eat the flesh of their enemies. Friday also said that the cannibals rescued him from a wrecked ship and that the ship belonged to the Spanish. The Spanish live on some of the neighboring islands. However, Robinson and Friday stayed together.

The story of Robinson getting two more companions

27 years had passed since Robinson arrived on the island. Robinson got two more companions. One day, they saw three boats on the beach. Robinson saw from a distance that some cannibals tying up two men and beating them severely, and the cannibals preparing to burn them alive.

One of the two men was dressed in European clothes, meaning Spanish and the other was Friday’s father. Robinson and Friday saved them from the cannibals. Robinson learned from them that a ship had sunk nearby. Some of them are Spanish and some others.

Robinson managed to rescue his compatriots

One day, Friday notices a ship approaching their island. Robinson saw the sailors were white men. Some people brought some prisoners. Friday and Robinson freed the three white prisoners. One of those captured was the ship’s captain and the other was the ship’s first mate and another common passenger.

Then Robinson learned that there had been a conspiracy on the ship. They told Robinson that the ship’s sailors had conspired to capture the captain and the mates. Their main objective is to leave them on this deserted island and escape with the ship. Robinson and the captain saved the ship from the mutineers with many tricks. Not only did Robinson save them from the rebels, but they also got the ship back.

Robinson’s return home from the island

On December 19, 1686, Robinson returned home by the captain’s ship. He took Friday with him. After a long 35 years of adventure and isolated life on the island, Robinson again set foot on the soil of his country.

Almost all of his family died except his two sisters and nephews were alive. He recovered the wealth he had left with his widowed friend. Then Robinson visited Lisbon and visited his Portuguese friends. Robinson then married and eventually, his wife died.

In 1694, Robinson again set sail for the East Indies with a merchant mindset. And later he traveled to that island where he spent several decades. After Robinson went to that island, he saw that the Spanish were living a beautiful life there. And his island became a developing island.

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Mr. Abdullah
Mr. Abdullah

Mr. Abdullah is a passionate love of Literature. Researcher and Lecturer of English Literature and Language.

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