'Robinson Crusoe' Questions for Study and Discussion

Daniel Defoe's Famous Novel

Robinson Crusoe
The British Library/Wikimedia Commons

Robinson Crusoe is the famous first novel by Daniel Defoe. A young man is shipwrecked and stranded on a deserted island. It's the stuff dreams are made of, but there's more to it than that. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.

Discussion Questions

  • What is important about the title?
  • What are the conflicts in Robinson Crusoe? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) did you notice in this novel?
  • How does Daniel Defoe reveal character in Robinson Crusoe?
  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the ​plot and characters?
  • What are some symbols in Robinson Crusoe? How do they relate to the plot and characters?
  • Are the ​characters consistent in their actions? Which of the characters are fully developed? How? Why?
  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?
  • How do loneliness, fear, and isolation affect (and shape) the characters?
  • Does the novel end the way you expected? How? Why?
  • What is the central/primary purpose of Robinson Crusoe? Is the purpose important or meaningful?
  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?
  • How important is friendship and/or camaraderie to Robinson Crusoe?
  • Compare/contrast Robinson Crusoe with other works by Daniel Defoe? How does Robinson Crusoe fit into Defoe's body of works?
  • Would you recommend Robinson Crusoe to a friend?