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The primary lessons learned by this family after ten years on the island involve God, nature, persistence, and the value of working together. Within a few hours of arrival at the island, the shipwrecked family is making themselves a nice supper that foreshadows the next decade of comforts attained by working with, and sometimes against nature to create a roof over their heads, feed and medicate themselves, and digest the frequent moralistic advice and sermons dispensed by the all-knowing and apparently perfect father of the group. Some critics have argued that the book is extremely sexist, depicting as it does the omnipresent father juxtaposed against the mother who might as well not exist, she is given so little to do in the story. Other critics have ridiculed the ease with which the family overcomes life threatening situations, such as encounters with predatory animals. In any case, the novel has retained, if not popularity, at least a lasting place in the literary canon, alongside such epics as Robinson Crusoe.
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