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MonkeyNotes-Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Chapter 14: My Desire To Venture Over The Main

Four years have passed since Crusoe arrived on the island. The desire to visit the mainland, which he has seen from the other side of the island, grows in Crusoe's mind. He hopes that once he reaches it he may be able to escape. For a few weeks, he tries to move the ship's boat, which has been lying on the shore all these years. Finally, he gives up and decides to build a boat. After laboring for days, he manages to make a huge canoe, but is unable to move it to the water.

Crusoe busies himself with other tasks. Since his clothes are in tatters, he decides to make an outfit for himself from the skin of the animals he has killed. He then sets his mind on making an umbrella from the animal skins, and after much effort, he succeeds.

Crusoe often reflects philosophically on the past and on the ways of God towards him. He realizes that he is lord of his realm and is removed from all the wickedness of civilization.


Notes

Escape is on Crusoe's agenda, and he dreams of going to the mainland which he has spied from the other side of the island; but it is obviously not God's plan for him to escape at the present. To reach his goal, Crusoe tries to move the ship's boat and even builds a canoe, but he can get neither of them in the water.

Although the climate is hot and there is no one else on the island, the proper Crusoe decides to fashion himself some new clothes from animal skins. After he succeeds in this task, he also creates an umbrella, proving that he is still ingenious. Defoe makes it obvious that Crusoe does not want to become like a native. The implication is that the white man is different and superior, an implication that furthers the theme of the negative aspects of imperialism.

The chapter reveals that Crusoe continues to progress morally. Quoting from the Bible, he says that he has neither "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life" (John 2:16). He realizes that all the gold he has now is worthless. The irony is that his present predicament is due to his greed for money.

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