Course Hero. "Robinson Crusoe Study Guide." Course Hero. 15 Sep. 2016. Web. 20 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Robinson-Crusoe/>.
Course Hero. (2016, September 15). Robinson Crusoe Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Robinson-Crusoe/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Robinson Crusoe Study Guide." September 15, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Robinson-Crusoe/.
Course Hero, "Robinson Crusoe Study Guide," September 15, 2016, accessed May 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Robinson-Crusoe/.
Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 8 of Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.
Robinson Crusoe continues exploring the island beyond his bower and the valley, and he discovers land some distance away, but he makes no plans to try to get there because he assumes it is held by "natives." He captures a parrot, which he names Poll, and he eventually teaches the bird to speak. His dog also catches a young goat, which Crusoe takes to his bower and places it in an enclosure. Then he returns to his cave for a week. When he comes back to the bower for the goat it is nearly starved, and the hunger makes it tame. Once Crusoe feeds it, the goat becomes his companion as well.
Crusoe's spiritual growth continues as he observes the second anniversary of his landing, giving thanks for the comforts he has found on the island, even though he would still rather be rescued. He has established a daily routine that includes reading scripture, cooking or preserving the food he kills or catches, and building tools and furniture. His crops are doing well, but he has to build a fence to keep goats away and he kills three birds, which he hangs over the crop to deter other birds. The harvest yields a few bushels, not enough to eat but enough to plant more. He begins to plan how he will mill the grain once he has a larger crop in the coming year, though he reflects on how much he still has to learn in order to be able to bake his own bread.
Near the end of Chapter 8, Robinson Crusoe says he is "reduced to a mere state of nature." In some ways this is true, but he has preserved so many trappings of civilization for himself that he continues to move away from a pure state of nature. He still forages and hunts for much of his food, but his efforts at growing crops and domesticating animals are moving forward. He has outfitted his dwelling with furniture and cutlery and other tools. As he admits when he gives thanks on his anniversary day, he does not prefer this life to civilization, but he is very comfortable and living as well as he might in many other circumstances.
However, the isolation does appear to be taking its toll on Crusoe. He repeatedly talks about his lack of company and assistance as he looks to expand his planting. His accumulation of pets in this chapter—which he mentions in passing—reflects an ongoing desire for companionship. He plans to tame the kid so he can start a domesticated goat herd that will provide meat, but he becomes attached to it as a pet. He catches a parrot for the purpose of teaching it to talk. This is not quite as good as human conversation, but he clearly craves a voice that speaks words.
However, despite his loneliness, Crusoe makes no immediate plans to travel to the land he has spotted in the distance. Even more than his description of his prayer routine, this hesitation indicates a true change in Crusoe's attitude. Certainly, he fears falling into the hands of cannibals, but this is a greater degree of caution than he has displayed in the past. For example, when he first took to sea, he expressed no fear of pirates. For the first time, he seems to recognize that there may not be a place better than here.