Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Chapter 8: My Reason Began to Master My Despondency
Crusoe seriously thinks about his state of affairs. He lists all the negative and positive aspects of his life. Although he has been cast upon a desolate, deserted island and is defenseless, he is lucky to be alive. He was able to salvage many essential items from the ship before it sank. There is also enough to eat on the island, and the climate is so warm that he hardly needs clothes. He decides that God has been good to him.
Over the months, Crusoe occupies himself by improving his dwelling and the fortress. He enlarges the cave, making more room for moving around and storing things. With the simple tools he has saved from the ship, he manages to construct a table and chair and to put up shelves and hooks in the cave. Throughout his activities, he keeps his journal, giving an account of his life on the island.
In this chapter, it is clear that Crusoe's process of regeneration has begun. He has overcome his despair and writes out the positive aspects of his situation. He logically reaches the conclusion that he is indeed fortunate to be alive and on a temperate island with plenty of food. He thanks God for his blessings.
Crusoe continues to occupy himself to stave off depression. He improves his home and fortress and builds some crude furniture with his simple tools. He is amazed at his new patience and determination. It is as if the harsh conditions of his life bring out the best in him. Defoe is slowly building the picture of a new Crusoe.