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Section 6

THE JOURNAL

September 30, 1659

He is shipwrecked.


Oct. 1

He discovers the ship's proximity.



Oct. 1-24

He pillages the ship.



Oct. 25

It rains and the ship breaks into pieces.



Oct. 26

He searches for a place to pitch his tent



Oct. 26-30

He sets up his tent and stores his provisions inside.



Oct. 31

He kills a goat for food



Nov. 1

He spends the first night in the tent on a hammock



Nov. 4

He begins to set a schedule for himself.



Nov. 5

He kills a wild cat and preserves her skin.



Nov. 6

He makes his table



Nov. 7-12

He makes his chair.



Nov. 14-16

He makes boxes for storage



Nov. 17

He begins to dig in the rock behind his tent to make more storage room.



Nov. 18

He tries, and fails, to make a wheelbarrow.



Nov. 23

For the next 18 days, he widens and deepens his cave so that it forms a warehouse area, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. (Note that the cave is distinct from his sleeping area, which he refers to as his tent).



Dec. 10

A large amount of dirt falls in from the roof of the cave.



Dec. 11

He is busy trying to fix the cave's ceiling.



Dec. 17-20

He begins to furnish his house and fashion a dresser. He makes another table.



Dec. 27

He kills a goat and injures another which he brings home and patches up. He begins to entertain the thought of breeding tame animals.



Jan 3

He works on building a wall to protect his living area, like a fort. He is satisfied that if visitors come to the island, they would not be able to recognize his fortification as a dwelling.



Robinson's journal breaks off here and he begins speaking at length again of his goings-on in general. He is happy to report that he has become able to make more things that he had thought impossible to construct, such as a cask to hold water and a candle (which he makes from the tallow of a killed goat). He also notes that at one point he had shook out the contents of an old bag in which corn had been stored onto the ground. He finds, some time later, that the seeds have -- through no tending of his own -- begun to sprout. He takes this as another sign of divine providence.

On the 14th of April Robinson finishes his wall, furnishing it not with a door, but with a ladder for climbing over it, just to ensure that it does not appear to be the gateway to a dwelling. But just after he finishes the wall, the ceiling of the cave falls in again, and Robinson finds that he is in the middle of a large earthquake, and stands in awe of the consequent landslides he watches happening all around him. He resolves to move his dwelling from the cave to something that is out from under the earth, so that if an earthquake happens again he'll be in a less perilous position. It will be a huge job, he realizes, and is reluctant to begin it. He makes a grindstone to help him fashion tools for the construction job. In the middle of the work, though, Robinson realizes that the late hurricane has caused the ship to run aground closer to shore. He is able to walk out to it when the tide is low. He begins dismantling it, reserving the wood, iron and lead for future projects. He works on the wreck until June 15.



June 21

Robinson falls ill and prays to God, he tells us, for the first time since the storm he experienced on leaving Hull.



June 27

In his illness, Robinson hallucinates a man coming down from a raincloud -- a huge man, shaking the earth as he steps closer to Robinson. The figure threatens Robinson that because he has not repented for his wayfaring ways and his rebellion against his father, he will die. Robinson imagines the man lifts a spear to kill him. Robinson is inexpressibly horrified, and also reflects on the absolute lack of self-reflection that he's shown up until this point. He remembers the way in which he did not feel thankful when he was rescued by the Portuguese Captain. He also notes that while when he first landed on the island, he was thankful for his rescue, these feelings subsided into a simple happiness to be alive, without a sense of the divine will by which his salvation must have been delivered. He reflects that he's become too comfortable on the island. But his sickness, he realizes, brings on thoughts of God again. He prays to God directly now, and asks for help. The next night, when eating his dinner of turtle in the shell, Robinson notices that he says grace for the first time in his life.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Preface
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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