Monday, February 1, 2010


The article "The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk" by Ben Taylor talks about how the story of Robinson Crusoe was created in the 17th century. It all started when Alexander Selkirk thinks that his captain’s boat is full of too many holes in the hull from all of the storms they have been through. The captain doesn’t like the way that Alexander is thinking, so they maroon him on Juan Fernandez, and island about 600 miles from Valparaiso which is off of the coast of South America. When the crew marooned Alexander they left him with a pistol, knife, hatchet, a navigation instruments, a bible, a flask of rum, and enough food for just a few days. After he inventoried the items that he had he realized that he could do what he wanted with his life know. Alexander spent a surprising four years on the island surviving by eating goats and plumbs. To keep himself in shape, Alexander would go and catch the goats. Not to eat them, but to keep track of his physical ability, he would carve a little notch in the horn. He also kept track of how many goats he ate over the four years that he was on the island and it was around 500 goats. He also found a freshwater spring on the island so he wouldn’t die of thirst. Once a Spanish boat docked at the island, and since Alexander was Scottish, he knew that the Spaniards would enslave him or kill him. So, he scrambled up a tree to avoid being caught and stayed there for two days until the Spaniards left the island. At the end of his time on the island an unidentifiable ship docked at the island to replenish supplies and he ran and signaled them and found that they were friendly and planned to sail with them back to England. Unfortunately, he died but after he got back to England and married twice. The writer Daniel Defoe was intrigued by Alexander’s story and decided to write a book on it called Robinson Crusoe and since it was so popular he had to write two more to make it a series. The main character, Alexander named Robinson was never alive to see the book but it got his story out and now the island is now named Robinson Crusoe Island which was changed by the Chile government in 1966.