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Chapter 19

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 19 of Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe | Chapter 19 | Summary

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Summary

Robinson Crusoe sails back to England and arrives on June 11, 1687—35 years after he first left the country. He has some money that he took from the two wrecked ships and some money he left with the widow, but not a huge fortune. He discovers that his father, indeed most of his family, has died, except for two sisters and two of his brother's sons. In light of these events, he decides to go to Lisbon to learn news of his plantation in Brazil.

In Lisbon he locates the Portuguese captain who saved him years ago and has knowledge of Crusoe's business in Brazil. Crusoe discovers the revenues from the plantation are very good, and after some paperwork and correspondence, he comes into a healthy fortune. He rewards both the captain and the widow for their loyalty and assistance.

With his fortunes in order, Crusoe returns to London, traveling over land from Lisbon. He fears another sea voyage, and his fears are justified when he learns the two ships he considered for his return trip have met with disaster. The land journey is not easy, though, and Crusoe's party is waylaid in the mountains by heavy snows, which are a shock to Friday. The group finds another guide through the mountains, but shortly after they set out again, they confront a pack of wolves. Friday kills one of the wolves, which scares the others away.

Analysis

When Robinson Crusoe returns to England, it seems he must endure one final test. He finds himself with but few family members left, and they are virtual strangers to him. Moreover, he has no fortune to establish himself in society now that he has returned. Having little to lose he goes to Lisbon and discovers that his plantation in Brazil has become something of a jackpot. At this point, he feels all his sufferings have been rewarded amply. He also has better instincts with regard to travel now that he has returned. He has a bad feeling about returning to England by boat, and he has learned to trust his instincts, which proves to be the wise decision in this case.

Friday's adjustment to life in Europe appears to be somewhat mixed. He is amazed and also terrified by snow, which brings Crusoe some amusement at Friday's expense. Friday seems to thrive in situations that involve some wildness and danger, as he leaps to his master's defense when they meet their first wolf pack on the journey from Lisbon to London. The incident may be included to show how Friday's "savage" nature finds an outlet in this new civilization, but it also shows Friday is brave and highly adaptable. The snow may be unfamiliar to him, but Friday does not feel cowed by his new environment.

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