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What is the summary of The Swiss Family Robinson?

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pranky | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 2, 2010 at 2:08 AM via web

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What is the summary of The Swiss Family Robinson?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 2, 2010 at 2:33 AM (Answer #1)

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The Swiss Family Robinson is an adventure novel orginally written in German by Johann Wyss. (The father and senior Wyss was probably the original writer; his son revised it and has his name listed as the author.) It tells the story about a shipwrecked family who come ashore on an idyllic island, spending ten years there. The family--husband, wife and four sons (based on the Wyss family)--actually have few hardships and eventually adapt to a happy life. The creature comforts are plentiful, as is the availability of food and exotic animals. When they are discovered by an English ship a decade later, they realize that their own isolation is the best civilization possible. Two sons return on the ship, while the other four remain on their island paradise. The book was made into a popular movie by Walt Disney in 1960.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 2, 2010 at 2:40 AM (Answer #2)

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I do not disagree with anything that the first answer says, but I would emphasize that the novel is not really meant to be simply an adventure.  Instead, it is meant to convey a moral message.  The author is trying to get across to the reader how important it is to A) be educated and resourceful and B) be religious.

In the book, the family survives and thrives largely because of the wisdom of the father (it is a very male-supremacist book).  He seems to know everything and be able to figure out a way to make anything.  The family also prays and thanks God at regular intervals in the book.  The book really emphasizes the importance of God to the family.

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