English Class: Western Literature

The Storms In Crusoe’s Life

Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe contains several descriptions of the storms that Crusoe went through. There are a few reasons why these descriptions are necessary to the narrative. 

One significant reason why the descriptions of the storms is important, is the fundamental role it plays in the narrative. His first sea voyage, after running away from his parents and home, met with a storm that so terrified him that he vowed to God that if he would ever get back on land he would return home to his parents. But this promise was broken when fair weather returned. Later the ship faced another terrible storm which actually sunk the ship. Fortunately this time no one died. Later on, after a few other voyages, Crusoe leaves his plantation in Brazil to buy slaves from Guinea. On that voyage another storm engulfs the ship and eventually brings them near a deserted island. Crusoe and the crew got into a boat and tried to get to shore, but the boat was upset by a wave. Only Crusoe made it to land. Without these storms, especially the last one that landed him on the island, there could have been no story. Because these storms play such a decisive role in the story there has to be detailed description of them.

Robison Crusoe, Photo Credit: Photos For Class
Robison Crusoe, Photo Credit: Photos For Class

Another reason why the description of storms is necessary to the novel is to give the reader a sense of reality. It’s not a fairy tale with simple and sparse details. Without enough details and facts the reader doesn’t feel that the story is real. However, with the storms as described by Defoe, the reader is pulled into the drama and action of the novel.

Also, the storms are part of the sanctions that occurred to Crusoe all throughout his life. The sanctions, both positive and negative, shaped his life. Crusoe was eventually brought to see the sins that he had done in his life and looked to God for mercy. This was the major turning point in his life and the many sanctions (some in the form of storms) Crusoe had gone through had led him to this turning point.

The storms were significant for so many reasons and it was therefore important to have descriptions about them. Defoe could not have left out this important part of the novel.

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