illustration of a man standing on an island and looking out at the ocean with the title Robison Crusoe written in the sky

Robinson Crusoe

by Daniel Defoe

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What does the phrase "two shoes that were not fellows" mean in "Robinson Crusoe"?

Expert Answers

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All that this means is that the shoes were not from the same pair of shoes.  That is why they are not fellows.  Because of this, the two shoes were of no use to him.  Presumably, he knew that they were not from the same pair because they were not the same size or style.

At this point in the book, Robinson Crusoe is not really thinking about what he is going to need.  So he is not looking at the shoes as something he can wear.  I think that Defoe has him notice these just so we can see how the ship and its crew has been totally destroyed and dispersed.

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