Chapter summary

Chapter 1: Start in Life

Setting: The port city of Hull, on a ship bound for London

Time: September 1651- 1652

Characters: Robinson Crusoe, an acquaintance of his, a ship's captain, sailors

The first-person narrator Robinson Crusoe from Daniel Defoe’s novel with the same name briefly tells of his life: He is born in 1632 in York, a city in northern England. His father is a wealthy merchant from Bremen. Even as a child, Robinson dreams of going to sea and having adventures, but his father is against it. However, this does not stop the boy from making his dreams come true.

One day, Robinson meets an acquaintance in the English port city of Hull. The acquaintance offers him a ride on his ship to London. Without informing his parents, the young man agrees and goes on board. Shortly after departure, a heavy storm shakes the sea. Robinson becomes seasick and feels intense fright. When the strong wind calms down the next day, he feels better again and begins to slowly get used to the sea. His acquaintance also encourages him and says that the weather wasn't so bad.

On the eighth day of his journey, another storm hits the sea. This time, however, it is much worse. The sailors have to throw out the emergency anchor and cut both ship's masts to avoid shipwreck. The entire ship's crew is terrified. Robinson also panics. During the night, the sailors discover a leak in the ship. There is nothing more they can do about it. The crew flees from the ship in the lifeboats. Shortly afterwards, their ship sinks into the sea.

The fleeing ship's crew row to a nearby beach, where they are met by many people who rush to their aid. The ship's crew and Robinson are warmly welcomed by the inhabitants of the nearby town, where they recover from their misfortune. The inhabitants then help them to continue their journey to London.

Chapter 2: Slavery and Escape

Setting: London, near the Canary Islands, Saleh in Mauritania, on the coast of Africa

Time: 2-3 years after Robinson's departure

Characters: Robinson Crusoe, a ship's captain and his crew, a band of pirates, the crew of a merchant ship

Once in London, Robinson is too ashamed to return home. He does not want to be laughed at because he has failed. He decides to embark on a new sea voyage.

Soon after, Robinson meets a ship's captain who wants to go on a voyage to Guinea to do business there. The captain suggests that Robinson accompany him on his journey. Robinson accepts this offer and befriends the captain.

With some money Robinson borrows from relatives in London, he buys toys and other merchandise to sell on his journey. The first weeks of his voyage are very pleasant for the young adventurer. The captain teaches him mathematics and trains him in basic nautical skills over the course of the first few weeks of a pleasant trip.

Near the Canary Islands, the ship is attacked by pirates. The crew tries to escape, but the pirates catch up with them. The two ships fire cannons at each other before the merchant ship is boarded. A terrible and bloody battle breaks out on the deck. The pirates prove to be much better armed and superior, so the ship's crew and Robinson eventually have to surrender.

The entire...

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