As some of you know, I hate Robinson Crusoe. Due in large part to the character, Robinson Crusoe.
However, I will admit that the premise of the book is somewhat intriguing and has obviously being preying on humanity’s collective mind ever since.
Think about it.
What do you think was the inspiration for The Swiss Family Robinson? Castaway? Lost?
And so, even though I despise both the book and the fictional character, I have written this post in honor of them. And how I would do things differently.
1. Learn To Climb Trees
Actually, I already know how to climb trees. And I am quite proficient, if I do say so myself. However, there is always room for improvement, is there not?
I think so.
Also, deserted islands seem like the type of place that would afford a more intense tree-climbing experience.
More trees. Taller trees. Different kinds of trees…
The possibilities are endless, really.
2. Become Best Friends With Friday
Who wants a slave when they could have a best friend?
I mean, seriously, Crusoe. Get your priorities straight, my friend!
Nothing is more important than friendship. Nothing.
3. Live On Fruit – Forget Cooking!
I love fruit!
Crusoe goes to all this trouble to learn how to cook – which I suppose is admirable since he was used to servants doing that sort of thing and had no experience whatsoever – when he could have simply lived off of the trees.
On the one hand, I can understand. A little.
I get it that if you catch a fish, you’ll want to fry it. That steak is much nicer when roasted over a campfire.
I understand this.
What I don’t understand about Crusoe is how hard he tries to make his life on the island resemble as closely as possible his life in civilization.
Doesn’t he realize that they are two different worlds and he would do much better to simply accept that fact and move on?
This is possibly my biggest problem with the book. His utter inability to adapt. Or refusal…
He tries to make a fortress out of a cave. He tries to make clay jars and pots. He tries to cook food that will resemble what he had before. He domesticates animals. He insists on wearing clothes. He even makes himself new clothes.
Why can’t the man just accept that this isn’t England?
4. Live In A Tree Because Caves Are Stupid
As previously stated, trees are amazing things, full of wonder and possibility. And if you ever have the opportunity to live in one, I suggest you do so. Enough said.
5. Get An Amazing Tan
This is one of my life goals. Needless to say, I have not achieved it yet.
Well, that isn’t quite true. When I was younger, I had the amazing capacity to turn as brown as an indian.
I seem to have lost that capacity.
Or is it just that I never go outside…?
6. Go Swimming Every Day
Though my last “life goal” was somewhat facetious, this one is not.
I genuinely would love to become a strong swimmer. The benefits are manifold – I firmly believe that everyone should know how to swim as a safety precaution, but it’s also one of the best forms of exercise, not to mention being a lot of fun.
7. Become Strapping
Another life goal!
All that swimming and tree-climbing… it’s bound to pay off. Right?
8. Make Friends With Cannibals
Not only is this option far superior to being eaten by cannibals, but it could be potentially helpful in other ways.
I enjoy a challenge, and it would be a great way to pass the time. Also, I hear it’s handy to have a pack of man-eating friends on your side when things get rough.
9. Never Leave… Obviously!
My other biggest problem with this story – he leaves!
Are you kidding me?
This is the part of the story where Crusoe is about to get on his boat and go home – because that’s what he wanted all along – and then he realizes–he doesn’t want to leave! This island has become home and he belongs here. He has finally found where he belongs – and it isn’t England.
Readers would end the book by wiping away a few stray tears, but with a satisfied smile on their faces.
That, my friends, is how the book was supposed to end.
What would you do if you were Robinson Crusoe?