The Swiss Family Robinson Analysis

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The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss is a classic novel that tells the story of a family’s survival after a shipwreck on their way to Australia. The family settles on an island and faces challenges from nature and pirates. The story is narrated in the first person by the father who is the hero of the story and teaches his children good values, religion, survival, and hard work. The mother is portrayed as supportive and caring. The family survives in the island and utilizes what nature can offer. The adventures they encounter seem too extraordinary, and the father is depicted as a Renaissance man who can do almost everything. The author emphasizes faith in God and sticking together as one family when facing adversities from outside forces. While there is some savagery in the text and may be too violent for children, the author’s intent is to present an ideal family amid adversity.

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This classic novel by Johann Wyss talks about the adventure of a family as they survive a shipwreck on board to Australia. The family settles in an island where they survive amid the challenges brought about by nature and pirates. Narrated in the first person perspective, the story is told by the father who serves as the complete hero who knows everything and would do anything to make his family survive.

The story presents many lessons in life, among which is courage. This is mainly shown in the father’s character, as he teaches his four boys, Fritz, Ernest, Jack and Franz good values, religion, survival, and hard work. The mother, although along with the father is left unnamed, is pictured as a supportive and caring mother. With these characters, the audience perceives the concept of an ideal family amid adversities brought by nature and humans. With heroism of the father and the sons, the family survives in the island, utilizing what nature can offer. Although some savagery is depicted in the text and may be too violent for children, we may excuse the author for writing such because of the setting and situation the characters are in.

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The adventures the family encounters are countless. They may even seem unbelievable. Even the setting of the place seems too extraordinary in that one can find a lot of things in it, packed together as if to offer everything the family needs. There they found sugar cane, fruit trees, whales, potato, cotton, and rubber. Another thing that seems unbelievable is the ability of the characters, especially of the father to do almost everything: taming ostriches, surviving attack by bears, growing fruit trees, and a lot more. It tells us of a Renaissance father who is all-knowing and God-fearing, values attuned with the time the story was written.

Looking closely at it, we may find that the author is trying to mimic some stories in the Bible. The father who is wise and skillful can be Wyss’s own imaginary character of Noah, with the latter surviving the flood in his arch and is given chance to start anew with the things in nature. Taking from this perspective, we can see the strong intent of the author to emphasize faith in God and sticking together as one family when facing adversities from outside forces.

Work Cited
Wyss, Johann David. “The Swiss Family Robinson.” NY: Sterling Publishing, 2007.

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