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MonkeyNotes-Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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CONFLICT

Protagonist: Robinson Crusoe, who is inspired by a desire to travel and make a fortune, is the protagonist of the novel. Although initially moved by his father's words of caution, he eventually gives in to his impulse to become a sailor. His life on the sea leads from one adventure to another, taking him to many foreign places and landing him on a deserted island, where he forced to spend twenty-eight years of his life.

Antagonist: At the most simplistic level, Crusoe's antagonist is the series of calamities that befall him. He must overcome each of his trials during the book in order to become successful and return to England.

At a deeper level, the antagonist is Crusoe's tortured soul, which is personified almost as a character in the novel. As he searches for peace, he must come to grips with his relationship to God (or Providence, as Crusoe calls it). When he finally acknowledge his own Christianity, all the rebelliousness is driven out of him and he begins to live a peaceful existence on the island and is finally delivered back to England to find he has become a wealthy man in his absence.

Climax: The climax of the adventure story is in the twenty-eighth chapter when, after twenty-eight years on the island, Crusoe finally has the means to escape from the island, where he has been marooned.

The climax of Crusoe's personal story occurs when he is sick and dying on the island and turns to God for help, begging for mercy and forgiveness. From this point forward, Crusoe becomes a religious man, reading the Bible, praying to God, and crediting Providence for all of his victories.


Outcome: The novel ends in comedy, with Crusoe overcoming his antagonists. Crusoe masters his hardships, which he feels have been inflicted due to his disobedience. The years on the island transform him into a practicing Christian with a peaceful soul; he even converts Friday, a savage, to Christianity. When he sails away from the island, he is richer than ever before, both spiritually and financially (although he is not aware of his wealth until he arrives in England). Back at home, Crusoe settles down, marries, becomes a father, and is generous towards all his friends and relatives.

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