Robinson Crusoethe main character of the story, he is a rebellious youth with an inexplicable need to travel. Because of this need, he brings misfortune on himself and is left to fend for himself in a primitive land. The novel essentially chronicles his mental and spiritual development as a result of his isolation. He is a contradictory character; at the same time he is practical ingenuity and immature decisiveness.
Xurya friend/servant of Crusoe's, he also escapes from the Moors. A simple youth who is dedicated to Crusoe, he is admirable for his willingness to stand by the narrator. However, he does not think for himself.
Fridayanother friend/servant of Crusoe's, he spends a number of years on the island with the main character, who saves him from cannibalistic death. Friday is basically Crusoe's protege, a living example of religious justification of the slavery relationship between the two men. His eagerness to be redone in the European image is supposed to convey that this image is indeed the right one.
Crusoe's fatheralthough he appears only briefly in the beginning, he embodies the theme of the merits of Protestant, middle-class living. It is his teachings from which Crusoe is running, with poor success.
Crusoe's motherone of the few female figures, she fully supports her husband and will not let Crusoe go on a voyage.
Moorish patronCrusoe's slave master, he allows for a role reversal of white men as slaves. He apparently is not too swift, however, in that he basically hands Crusoe an escape opportunity.
Portuguese sea captainone of the kindest figures in the book, he is an honest man who embodies all the Christian ideals. Everyone is supposed to admire him for his extreme generosity to the narrator. He almost takes the place of Crusoe's father.
Spaniardone of the prisoners saved by Crusoe, it is interesting to note that he is treated with much more respect in Crusoe's mind than any of the colored peoples with whom Crusoe is in contact.
Captured sea captainhe is an ideal soldier, the intersection between civilized European and savage white man. Crusoe's support of his fight reveals that the narrator no longer has purely religious motivations.
Widowshe is goodness personified, and keeps Crusoe's money safe for him. She is in some way a foil to his mother, who does not support him at all.
Savagesthe cannibals from across the way, they represent the threat to Crusoe's religious and moral convictions, as well as his safety. He must conquer them before returning to his own world.
Negroesthey help Xury and Crusoe when they land on their island, and exist in stark contrast to the savages.
Traitorous crew membersthey are an example of white men who do not heed God; they are white savages.
Robinson Crusoe Essays and Related Content
- Robinson Crusoe: Essays
- Robinson Crusoe: E-Text
- Robinson Crusoe: Questions
- Robinson Crusoe: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Daniel Defoe: Biography
- Robinson Crusoe Summary
- About Robinson Crusoe
- Character List
- Summary and Analysis of Parts 1-2
- Summary and Analysis of Parts 3-4
- Summary and Analysis of Parts 5-6
- Summary and Analysis of Parts 7-8
- Summary and Analysis of Part 9
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources