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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Describe Robinson Crusoe's house in Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

Quick answer:

The first paragraph of the essay should introduce the subject of your paper. Mention Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, and the novel Robinson Crusoe. Explain that you will be writing an essay about Crusoe’s house in Robinson Crusoe. Make a claim about Crusoe’s character based on his house. Instead of presenting a thesis statement, you can suggest some points that might be included in your final paper. For example, you might argue that building his own house helps Crusoe to learn many skills he will need in order to survive on the island. Then you could mention some specific skills—building, carpentry, and so forth—that he learns by building his own shelter.

Expert Answers

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An essay focusing on Robinson Crusoe’s house in Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe should present a point of argument or reflection, provide evidence from the text to support that point, and offer a conclusion about how the passage fits into the rest of the novel.

To get you started on this assignment, let’s brainstorm some points you might present in your essay. You might argue that Crusoe’s house reflects many aspects of his character. Then you can support this by talking about Crusoe’s orderly method of working, practical goals for his house, and amazement at his own abilities. Indeed, Crusoe’s house is very much his own work, and it gives him a chance to learn many skills and develop many attitudes that he will need to survive long-term on the island.

Alternately, you might focus on what Crusoe learns by building his house. This project, you may assert, teaches Crusoe more than just DIY techniques. It teaches him how to survive and how to thrive on the island. It also builds empathy in him as he learns what others have had to go through to make a life for themselves. You might even talk about how Crusoe learns greater caution and foresight through his building project, thinking and planning for what might happen and acting accordingly. A conclusion for this option could focus on how the experience of building a house has changed Crusoe’s perspective when he finally returns to civilization.

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