Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe Summary and Analysis of Part 9

Part 9 Summary:

The boat of men lands on shore. They examine the first, broken boat. Shots go off to try and find the other crew members. Robinson and his army wait for a while. Just as the men are going to leave, the narrator bids Friday and the first mate to holler from an area of rising ground within his sight. The men run back eagerly. Two stay in the boat. Crusoe and the others surprise them and quickly get them to join their side. The other men are looking for the calls. Friday and the mate lead them astray until dark. They return to the boat and are stunned when they find the other two men gone. In the midst of their surprise Robinson and the army attack. Two men are killed outright. The captain tells the rest to surrender by order of the governor, Crusoe. Arms are laid down and the men are rounded up as prisoners and divided up. Some are taken to the goat pasture, some to the cave, where the first prisoners lay. Except for the worst of the crew, they all pledge their undying devotion to the captain. In the guise of the governor's assistant, Crusoe tells them that if they mutiny or go back on their word, they will be killed. The captain goes out with his men in a boat and is able to reclaim his large ship. He kills the head of the mutiny, and they hang his body from a tree on the island. The captain immediately hands over the ship to Crusoe. Crusoe embraces the captain as his deliverer. He dresses in new clothing from the ship and poses as the Governor. He addresses the untrustworthy prisoners, and tells them they can either stay on the island or return to England and be hanged. They choose to stay on the isle. Robinson takes time to show them where all his amenities are. He and Friday leave on the ship with the rest of their little army.

Robinson arrives in England thirty-five years after he left it. He finds the old Portuguese captain in Lisbon and is able to get in contact with his old plantation partners. He finds he is very wealthy and successful. He pays the Portuguese man and the widow who was his trustee very well for all the kindness they have shown him. He sends his two sisters in the English countryside some money. Crusoe thinks of going to Brazil, but decides he could not bear the rule under the religion of Catholicism. Thus he resolves to sell the plantation and settle in England. To get to England from Portugal, Robinson decides not to sail but to go by land. The journey is treacherous. They are almost attacked by wolves. The guide becomes ill. At one point Friday must fight a bear. Happily enough, they are successful and arrive unscathed in Dover. Robinson eventually marries and has three children. When his wife dies, he takes a voyage with his nephew to the East Indies. There he sees that his island is faring well, the Spaniards having arrived at the behest of Friday's father and the first Spaniard who landed on the isle. There are women and young children as well as men. Crusoe looks in on the inhabitants of the island from time to time. He is always on a voyage.

Part 9 Analysis:

This chapter brings us to the long-awaited fairy-tale conclusion. After crossing a myriad number of obstacles, Crusoe reaches wealth and security. He treats generously those who have helped him, and in short lives a model life. In short, there is a justification of returning to middle-class life. It seems a bit far-fetched in some respects, but we can indulge Defoe. Before this return can happen, though, Robinson's pioneer dream world must reach fruition and he must fully conquer the dangerous forces that are present on the island, thereby safeguarding his religious sensibilities. Robinson is more fully in the role of leader than ever before. The manner in which he is constantly observing before acting illustrates learned patience--the impulsive tendencies are gone. He choreographs strategies but never loses consciousness of his position. It is important to note that he only engages in battle for the captain when it is assured that he will always have authority over the island. When the mutinying crew are finally beaten and captured, the narrator is able to fully live out his fantasy by referring to himself as the "governor" of the isle and having everyone openly acknowledge him as a ruler. Religion has completely exited the battle scene. It is clear that this is a fight between men, for the sheer purpose of control over men. There is no glorification of God. Interestingly enough, the word "deliverance" still appears a number of times. This time, however, it is mostly in reference to human resources as opposed to divine ones. Robinson and the captain call each other "deliverers." Their destinies are altered by one another, not by any sort of Providence. Thus humans become more powerful and capable.

Even after the "escape" from the island, traveling continues to be perilous. It is much to Crusoe's credit that he refuses to travel to England by sea. The fact that the journey by land is fraught with many disasters seems to reveal a predetermined propensity for Robinson Crusoe to encounter misfortune each time he strays from the middle class existence into which he was born. Once in England, his life proceeds peacefully and uneventfully. Somehow this is not enough, for the narrator eventually sets out for the sea once again. Upon seeing his island become a thriving settlement, he is inspired to keep traveling, perhaps in the hopes of starting another such settlement. A placid existence in England will not ever glorify Crusoe enough to keep him there. Therefore, he must leave. There are no other options for him to pursue. Whether this is an adventuresome spirit or a foolhardy one, we cannot really say. But we would wish Crusoe the best in any case.