In The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, how does the mother react when she realizes that the ship is sinking?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Swiss Family Robinson, when the ship is in mortal danger from the storm, the wife of the family is initially afraid but she soon rallies and tries to calm and cheer her children.  This can be seen in a passage only a few paragraphs into the book.

At this point in the book, it is clear that the ship is doomed. The father tells his children that they need to put their trust in God and that, no matter what happens to them, they will turn out okay (either on earth or in Heaven).  These words have a good effect on the wife. The narrator says that

 At these words my weeping wife looked bravely up, and, as the boys clustered round her, she began to cheer and encourage them with calm and loving words.

The wife was afraid.  That is why she was “weeping.”  But then she is inspired by her husband’s words and starts to try to help the children to feel less afraid.

This is very typical of this book.  The book is full of instances in which the family relies on their faith in God to get them through their problems.  It is also full of instances in which the father acts as the leader of the family. In this way, this incident shows us some of the major themes in this book.

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The Swiss Family Robinson

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