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MonkeyNotes-Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Chapter 16: A Very Sedate Retired Life

For the next year, Crusoe lives a peaceful life and is quite happy. He improves his carpentry skills and becomes an adept potter. Soon he finds that his gunpowder supply is running short. So, in his eleventh year on the island, Crusoe traps some goats and tames them; they serve as his food supply from then on. He shuts them in an enclosure that takes him three whole months to build. After about a year and a half, he is the proud owner of a dozen goats. Their number increases to forty-three within two more years. Now he has milk and is able to make butter and cheese.

Crusoe describes a typical dinner. He sits at the table with his little family, consisting of Poll, the parrot, his old dog, who always sat on his right, and the two cats, who sat on either side of the table. He has fashioned himself new clothes made entirely from goatskin. He has a broad belt of goat's skin on which he hangs a saw and a hatchet, and on another belt hang two pouches for his powder and shot. On his back he carries his basket, and on his shoulder, his gun. He has also made himself a clumsy, ugly goat's skin umbrella.


Notes

After his near-disastrous attempt to sail around the island, Crusoe settles down for several years, living a peaceful existence. When he realizes his supply of gunpowder is running low, he becomes a goat farmer in order to always have food. He catches several wild goats and tames them. He builds an enclosure for them, where they can live and multiply. In three years, he has more than forty domesticated goats. He now has a constant supply of milk and meat; he even makes butter and cheese. It is obvious that Crusoe is as ingenious as ever.

During these years, the prodigal son progresses further spiritually. He seems, for once, to be truly at peace over his state of affairs on the island. He has accepted his plight in life and makes the best of it, even enjoying his meals which he shares with his parrot, dog, and cats. Ironically, it was the dream of many Englishmen of the time to be the governor of a colony and the lord over his subjects - and that is just what Crusoe has become; however, his colony is a deserted island and his subjects are a group of animals. Defoe's imperialistic theme is again obvious.

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