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5.-7. klasse Stories in English Robinson Crusoe, part I
 Stories in English deco

Robinson Crusoe

Part One

Øyvind Olsholt/Clipart.com
Filosofiske spørsmål:
Øyvind Olsholt
Sist oppdatert: 20. januar 2004

The story of Robinson Crusoe was first published in 1719 under the title "Life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe". It soon became very popular and still today it nurtures the imagination and sense of adventure of people throughout the world.

The author, Daniel Defoe, was born in 1660 and made his living mostly from writing novels as well as from journalism. He wrote quite a number of novels, but his two most famous ones are, "The story of Robinson Crusoe" and "The story of Moll Flanders" which was published in 1722. Defoe has been a major influence in the development of the English novel. These two parts comprise a mini-version of the original novel.

From York to London

I was born in the city of York, in England, in the year 1632. My father was a man of some wealth, able to give me a good home and send me to school. It was his wish that I should become a lawyer but my head began to be filled very early with thoughts of rambling, and I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea. My father tried to talk me out of it, but with little effect. One day when I was in Hull, I met a school-fellow who was about to sail for London in his father's ship, and he urged me to go with him, and in an evil hour, without asking God's blessing or my father's, I went on board.

On the way to London, a storm arose, the ship was wrecked, and we barely escaped with our lives. I went on foot to London, where I met with the master of a vessel which traded to the coast of Africa. He took a fancy to me, and offered me a chance to go with him on his voyages, which I gladly accepted.

The shipwreck

A great storm came up, and the ship was tossed about for many days, until we did not know where we were. Suddenly we struck a bank of sand, and the sea broke over the ship in such a way that we could not hope to have her hold many moments without breaking into pieces. In this distress we launched a boat. After we had been driven four or five miles, a raging wave struck us so furiously that it overset the boat at once. Though I swam well the waves were so strong that I was thrown against a rock with such force that it left me senseless. But I recovered a little before the waves returned, and, running forward, got to the mainland safely.

Securing provisions from the wreck

Then I began to look about to see if any of my comrades had escaped, but I could see no sign of any of them. The night coming on, I climbed into a thick, bushy tree to sleep, not knowing but that there might be wild and dangerous beasts there. When I awoke, next morning, the sea was calm, and I could see the ship about a mile from the shore; and when the tide ebbed, I swam out to her. I found that all the provisions were dry, and being very hungry, I filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate as I went about other things; for I saw that I must lose no time in getting ashore all that I could from the ship. I began by making a raft strong enough to bear a moderate weight. Next I lowered upon it three seamen's chests, and filled them with provisions. After a long search I found the carpenter's chest, which was a great prize to me. I lowered it upon the raft, and then secured a supply of guns and gunpowder. With this cargo I started for the shore, and, with a great deal of trouble, succeeded in landing it safely.

Alone on an island

My next work was to view the country and seek a proper place to stow my goods. I knew not yet where I was, whether on the continent or an island. There was a hill not over a mile away, very steep and high; and I climbed to the top of it, and saw that I was on an island, barren, and as I saw good reason to believe, uninhabited.

The ship sinks

Every day, for twelve days, I made a trip to the ship, bringing ashore all that I thought would be useful to me. The night of the twelfth day there was a violent wind, and when I awoke in the morning the ship was nowhere to be seen.

Making a home

Then I gave my thoughts to providing myself with a safe habitation. I found a little plain, on the side of a hill, whose front towards the plain was very steep, and had in it a hollow place like the door of a cave. Here I resolved to pitch my tent, which I made of sails that I had brought from the ship. Around it I drew a half circle, and drove two rows of piles into the ground, making a kind of fortress. I left no entrance, but used a short ladder to go over the top, and when I was in, lifted it over after me. Then I enlarged the hollow place I have spoken of until I had made quite a cave, which served as a cellar for my house, which I called my castle.


I had found aboard the ship a dog and two cats. I carried the cats ashore on the raft, but as for the dog he swam ashore himself, and was a trusty servant to me for many years. Besides the company of these pets, I had that of a parrot which I caught, and which I taught to speak; and it often gave me much amusement.

Hunting and breeding

I went out every day with my gun to hunt for food. I found that there were goats running wild on the island, and often succeeded in shooting one. But I saw that my ammunition would in time all be gone, and that to have a steady supply of goat's flesh, I must breed them in flocks. So I set a trap to take some alive, and succeeded in catching several. I enclosed a piece of ground for them to run in; and in course of time, had a large flock, which furnished me with all the meat I needed.


I saved the skins of all the creatures I shot, and dried them; and when my clothes were worn out, replaced them with garments made of these. Then, at the expense of a great deal of time and trouble, I made an umbrella, also of skins, which I needed much to keep off both sun and rain.

The canoe

For a long time I brooded over the idea of making a canoe of the trunk of a tree, as the Indians do, and at last set to work at the task. I cut a large tree, and spent over three months shaping it into the form of a boat. Then I found it too large to move to the water. I afterwards made a smaller one, and succeeded in launching it, and set out to make a tour around the island in it. But when I had been out three days, such a storm arose that I was near being lost. At last I was able to bring my boat to the shore, in a little cove; and there I left it, and went across the island, on foot, to my castle, not caring to go to sea again in such an unsafe vessel.

Suggested topics for philosophical discussion

  1. Robinson's father wanted him to become a lawyer. Robinson didn't care for that at all, he just wanted to ramble, to wander here and there and explore the world.

    Was it right of him to follow his own will instead of obeying his father? When is it right to defy the command of our parents and when would it be wrong to do that? Are there some commands (from teachers or parents) that we must always obey? Are there some commands we must never obey regardless of who gives them?
  2. On his way to London the ship was wrecked and he was almost killed. Nevertheless the first thing he does when he gets to London is to embark on a voyage to Africa.

    Would you have climbed a giant ladder if you had just fallen down the stairs? Would you have eaten a snake if you had just been sick from eating a worm? Do we always learn by experience? What do we learn? Do some people never learn by experience? Why not?
  3. Robinson is alone on a deserted island. Or is he really alone? He has the company of a dog, two cats and lots of goats. He also has a parrot to entertain him. Can the company of animals substitute the need for the company of other people? If there were no animals at all on the island, could he still find company in nature, or in the sun, or the stars at night? What is your idea of loneliness?
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Robinson Crusoe
Part I
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