As early as his infancy, Robinson Crusoe is seduced by the heavy vessels which climb up the Thames while passing in front of the Crusoes' family property.
While still a child, his first visit to London reinforces his intention to seek a maritime career. Londoners' frustrating manners depress him. He'd rather be a sailor, away from the crowds.
Ten years later, he embarks, realizing his destiny beyond his wildest dreams.
Unfortunately, this destiny- or predestiny- is a solitary life shipwrecked on a deserted island on his first seagoing trip.
The sole survivor, he recovers some incidentals of "civilization" on the beach and installs himself in a cave. A convinced misanthropist, he nevertheless commits himself immediately to constructing a boat to rejoin the civilized world.
Alas, the boat remains unshakably anchored in the jungle where it was constructed.
In his solitude, he soon mistakes the sounds of whales for rumors of a crew prowling around his island...and he lights fires and runs while shaking sails on the island's coasts.
Later, a vessel passes within earshot of the island. Robinson believes that his ordeal is, at last, over. But a mutiny breaks out on board, and the boat takes a wide berth, ignoring the hairy, yelling character who shakes on the shore.
Crusoe cannot confide his problems to Dodo the bird, an amiable companion who gives him no reply but the echo of his own solitude.
Surprise! Louis Antoine de Bougainville, an explorer sailing around the world, makes a stop on Robinson's island. A ship's boy- actually, a girl in drag- moves away from shore in order to take a bath away from the crew's stares.
Filled with wonder, Crusoe discovers her bathing nude in a pond. By hiding her age (and her sex), she succeeds in re-embarking while Crusoe abandons his sortie.
With difficulty, he decides never to look for human company any more...just as a noisy troop of cannibals comes to interrupt his siesta.
He makes these ferocious man-eaters clear off so that they forget to eat their picnic "lunch": a small, pot-bellied savage named Friday.
A band of slave traffickers, which sails nearby, is dispossessed of its vessel and furnishings despite the fortune that had been so much awaited. The slaves, freed by Friday, reveal themselves to be acceptable sailors.
Crusoe, still grumpy, nevertheless departs to take the road to civilization. He leaves everything to be done by Friday, who dreams enthusiastically of nothing but the charms of London and the talents of the Queen of England.
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