Topics for Discussion
1. In what ways does Robinson Crusoe attempt to "civilize" his environment? How successful is he in these attempts? How does his environment strip him of the veneer of civilization he has acquired through his upbringing?
2. Name some of the methods by which Defoe reveals Crusoe's character to the reader.
3. Robinson Crusoe frequently credits or blames Providence for his experiences. Based on your reading of the book, how do you think Crusoe defines Providence? In what ways is Providence a major influence on Crusoe's life?
4. Some commentators have argued that Crusoe is guilty of racism. Do you agree? Why?
5. Crusoe frequently mentions his great "sin." To what sin is he referring? He also views many of his experiences as punishment for that sin. Which events in particular does he view as God's warnings to him?
6. Robinson Crusoe has been called an adventure tale, a moral allegory, a handbook for survival, and an economics textbook. In what ways does each label fit the novel? Which label do you prefer? Why?