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Section 10

Anxious Preparations

These apprehensions put Robinson in the mind that someone might come and steal his crops and all his food, leaving him to die of want on the island. He begins to doubt his earlier faith in God now, too. He no longer feels confident that God will provide for him upon the island. He resolves to plant more corn than is necessary for each year, to stock up in case his provisions are pillaged. It's strange, furthermore, he reflects, that the thing for which he had so ardently wished -- that he might meet another man upon the island -- is now something he is deeply averse to. In the face of such surprising turns of events, Robinson turns his faith back to God. He even begins to consider that the print might have been one of his own. He finally builds the courage to come out of his castle, which he's been shut up in for three days.

He is determined to go back to the print and measure it against his own. But when he does so, he finds it quite a bit larger than his, which again send him into a panic, and straight back to his enclosure. He wonders if he should tear up his crops and let his cows loose, just so that this other man might not find the booty and enjoy it himself. In a panic, he builds another fortification with a double wall. He arranges muskets around the perimeter. This fortification is within a grove of trees he had planted twelve years prior, and in another five years, he tells us, this new castle is so deeply enclosed that no-one would imagine a habitation to exist beyond the trees. Bear in mind that Robinson has now spent five years, by his account, fortifying himself against possible attack from a man who has never seen. He has become depressed and anxious, constantly worrying about being at the mercy of savages or cannibals (again, his terminology). He finds that it was much easier to pray when he had peace of mind, and much more difficult when his mind is already roused and anxious.

One day, when exploring the now anxiety-producing shore, Robinson comes across a sight that leaves him aghast: the shore is littered with human skulls and bones, as well as the remains of a fire. Robinson is absorbed with thoughts of the brutality and inhumaneness of cannibalism and devotes some writing to this topic. After vomiting he feels better, and returns to his side of the island, utterly thankful for his home, and for having been spared death at the hands of these supposed cannibals. But his fear and depression about the cannibals keeps him close to his castle, his bower, and his goat-enclosure for another two years.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17


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