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Literapedia Book Notes for

Robinson Crusoe (Barnes and Noble Classics Version) by Daniel Defoe


  • Robinson Crusoe (ch 1)--the story's title character and poor, abandoned soul
  • The Widow (ch 3)--retains 200 pounds for Crusoe during his entire 35 years of travel
  • Xury (ch 4)--the slave boy who escapes with Crusoe
  • The Portuguese Captain (ch 5)--the rescuer of Crusoe and Xury, remains Crusoe's friend and companion even after his 25 years on the island
  • The Spaniards (ch 16)--two men rescued by Crusoe from savages, who live with Friday and Crusoe for a short period of time on the island
  • Friday (ch 14)--a savage rescued by Crusoe, who becomes his best friend and man servant
  • The English Captain (ch 17)--another character rescued by Crusoe, who offers Crusoe passage off of the island
  • The French Guide (ch 20)--the guide who offers Crusoe and his party swift travel between Spain and France

Chapter Summaries

  1. (Page 3-8) Robinson Crusoe, the title character, discusses his life at home with his father, who pleads with him not to leave home and England. The younger Crusoe dissents, taking a job as a deckhand on a ship.
  2. (Page 8-16) After heading off on his own, Robinson ends up in not one, but two shipwrecks at sea. After this series of unfortunate events he begins to question his decision to go against his father's will.
  3. (Page 16-22) Robinson sets out on his third unlucky voyage. After the captain falls ill, the first mate who takes over gets the ship captured, and a Moorish man makes Crusoe a slave.
  4. (Page 22-30) Crusoe and fellow slave Xury escape and travel down the African coast. On their voyage they encounter huge lions and leopards, two of which Robinson kills in a village to earn thanks and much needed supplies.
  5. (Page 30-36) After being picked up by a Portuguese ship, Robinson Crusoe establishes a plantation in Brazil. However, the captain who saved him soon lures him into another seaward venture.
  6. (Page 36-43) Robinson ends up in a huge storm, wrecks, and is the only man left alive. He spends the night in a tree and discovers the next day that the broken hull of the ship is just barely off shore.
  7. (Page 43-60) Crusoe builds a home, questioning what he did to end up stranded on the island. To record his day to day struggles and activities he begins a journal.
  8. (Page 60-75) Robinson describes the first eight months on the island which were spent gathering supplies and building his home, all of which was written down in his journal.
  9. (Page 75-83) Robinson Crusoe dwells on the reason he ended up on the island. Caught in a violent week long storm, he develops a fever, that leaves him so incapacitated he turns to God for help.
  10. (Page 83-96) Crusoe takes a survey of the island, finding it deserted. Also, Crusoe reaches one year spent on the island and makes the day a holiday. Finally, he starts farming with the few seeds he has and trying to domesticate animals.
  11. (Page 96-115) Robinson spends the next five years improving his compound, making bowls, plates, clothes, an umbrella, and a boat.
  12. (Page 116-148) Crusoe discovers a footprint in the sand that is not his own. He expends considerable thought and energy questioning the savage lifestyle and preparing to defend himself against them.
  13. (Page 148-164) The title character discovers another wrecked ship. He gathers supplies from the ship and takes them to his hidden storage cave.
  14. (Page 164-173) Crusoe encounters savages who have brought two prisoners to eat. Robinson rescues one, kills the savages, and makes the rescued savage his servant, calling him Friday.
  15. (Page 173-187) Crusoe educates Friday, teaching him English. Also, the two discuss religion giving Robinson impetus to become a biblical scholar.
  16. (Page 193-207) Friday spots a ship with prisoners. Crusoe and Friday save some Spaniards from the savages, and encourage the Spaniards to live and work with them.
  17. (Page 207-215) Friday spots an English boat trying to leave behind prisoners. Crusoe saves them and takes prisoners of the original captors, who he finds to be the mutinous first mate and his henchman.
  18. (Page 222-230) Crusoe leaves the prisoners behind. He boards the English captain's boat, taking his off to leave the island return home.
  19. (Page 230-240) Robinson returns to his plantation, discovering he is a rich man. He settles his debts, collects his fortune, pays his old captain friend, and leaves for England.
  20. (Page 240-251) Crusoe arrives in Lisbon. He decides to go overland to France and then hop a boat to England. The mountain trail Crusoe chooses from Pamplona to France almost gets him killed and eaten by wolves.
  21. (Page 251-254) Robinson Crusoe settles down and marries, but gets the bug to travel again. He returns to Brazil, but then decides that ultimately he would like to raise his family on his old, now inhabited island.

Book Note Creator

Joseph P. Samuels, '08