What is the name of the island in the novel The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss?  

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss was originally published in 1813, but has appeared in many revised editions since its original publication. Its title derives from Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe and in the original German has the meaning "Swiss Robinson [Crusoe]" rather than treating Robinson as a family name. As much as a story, it is meant as an education in what we now would term survivalism. 

The family endures a shipwreck on an uncharted and nameless island in the south Pacific Ocean, remote from normal trading routes and ship stopovers. The family, consisting of a mother, father, and their four male children, use materials salvaged from the ship and materials discovered on the island to create a viable, self-sustaining homestead, raising animals and plants for food, weaving clothing, and building shelters. They are pious and industrious, and even when the island is finally rediscovered by a ship blown off course, decide to make their small community the nucleus of a colony rather than returning to the civilized world. 

In memory of their homeland, they name the island New Switzerland.

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The Swiss Family Robinson

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