I recently had the chance and re-read one of my favorite books from childhood, Robinson Crusoe that I had forgotten was saved on my Kindle Fire. This novel was written by Daniel Defoe in 1719 and has remained as one of the great story lines throughout the past few centuries. The plot focuses on an adventurer named Robinson Crusoe who ventures far from home against the wishes of his parents to forge his own destiny and travel the sea. A series of events eventually leave him stranded on a tropical deserted island where he must struggle to survive. By overcoming his despair and becoming industrious, Robinson is able to survive and eventually prosper on the island.
There is a good deal more to the storyline and I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but it’s sufficient to say that there is a lot of action in the book. While this a story that generally seems to appeal more to young boys and not females (like myself), I can’t help but feel a longing for adventures every time I read it. The theme of seeking out adventure and not just conforming to the career and lifestyle chosen by one’s parents seems to strike a chord with the younger generation. Probably for this reason it’s a theme that is echoed time and time again in young adult literature.
The idea of traveling the world also appeals to many, both young and old. I am ashamed to admit that I’ve never yet been outside of the United States, and after reading this book it gave me the “kick” I needed to commit to an actual international vacation. Granted, I’m not traveling too far away, but shortly after completing the book I talked a couple of my girlfriends into going on a cruise this upcoming summer. We poured over travel sites looking for the best tropical cruise, on Travelocity we found a killer deal on an Eastern Caribbean cruise. So now I can’t tell you how stoked I am for my first “sea adventure” in a few short months.
It never ceases to amaze me how much a book can influence us and bring out our inner most desires. I did want to touch on one other topic that stuck out to me more reading the novel this time around. The first was the religious aspect. Now I’m not super religious, but I did go to church a bit as a kid so I’m not unfamiliar with the bible or christianity in general. While stranded on his island, Robinson actually has a copy of the bible and reads from it to the point where he becomes more spiritual. There is a part where he actually thanks God for his situation where he lacks nothing except social interaction with others. I think that this attitude of gratitude is something that most of us could apply much more in our lives. Some of us are given everything in life, and still find reasons to complain while others, like Crusoe, are dealt kind of a crappy hand but end up making the most out of it. Our outlook affects our life so strongly and we would be wise maintaining a positive one.
This great read has helped restore my optimistically adventurous attitude (at least for the time being). While this book is not written in the most modern of language, if you can get past that fact you will find yourself being swept away to a tropical island taking part in an adventure you’ve never previously dreamt of!