Summer Reading Project
By Abby Kotula
The Swiss Family Robinson
By Johann Wyss
Summary of Story:
The "Swiss Family Robinson" is a story about a family of six who was coming from Switzerland to create a new life. They were shipwrecked by a deserted island in a tremendous storm. All of the crew abandoned them and all of the life boats were taken. The family prayed to God to help them during the storm. The next morning, they found that the back of the ship, which had their cabin, had been resting perfectly between two rocks. They tried to gather as many helpful items that they could find. Everyone pitched in while Jack found the captain's dogs, Turk and Juno, but the father thought the dogs wouldn't be of any use. There were no life boats left so they made a small raft out of tubs and wood floating in the water. Everything was loaded onto the raft and they were off. The dogs, thinking they were being abandoned, jumped in and swam after them. Thinking how far they would have to swim to shore, the father let them onto the raft.
After paddling and yelling, the hopeless family finally came ashore. They set up a small tent with some wood and a sail from the ship and called it Tentholm. When they were settled in, Fritz and his father went exploring while the others found a grand tree in which they could live in. They made suggestions and later moved in. This home was called Falconhurst. Later in the story, they all would constantly go back and fourth between the establishments.
The father finally decided to take the raft back to the wreck with Fritz and gather all of the animals. There was no way to take them on the raft so they came up with an idea to tow the animals behind them and strap them individually between two barrels to help them float. These animals ended up living in "The Woodlands" which is a mass of land covered in calabash wood. After other visits to the wreak, they finally decided to blow it up and hope that some important items would float to shore.
After about six months of sunshine, it began to rain and rain for another six months. This means they were trapped inside of a tree with all of the animals. This was like torture to them. Luckily, when it stopped raining, they found something amazing. The men were digging into a rock wall near Tentholm when suddenly they found a large salt cavern where they spent the rest of the rainy seasons. They also kept their valuables there and made it their permanent home. They even had a guest room for some odd reason.
Later on, the family went on many journeys to explore the large island. They met lions and tigers and bears. Oh my. They also came across donkeys, jackals, ostriches, and buffalo herds. One of the last things they found was a girl named Jenny. She was a general's daughter and was shipwrecked alone. One day they heard mysterious guns coming from the other side of the island so later they went to investigate. It was a British ship anchored in the bay! Everyone was so exited! Jenny wanted to see her father at home and Franz wanted to have a real education since he was eight when they were shipwrecked. Fritz loved the island but was in love with Jenny more so he went with them. As for the rest, they stayed on the island to have a different life and experience things that most people don't get to do very often.
Theme of the Book:
There are many themes for the story “The Swiss Family Robinson”. However, one theme stands out more than any other. It is that we should be grateful for what we have because what if we didn't have it? Throughout the whole story the father kept telling the four sons that we should thank God for what we have and never take anything for granted. That is what everyone should do instead of taking money, valuable objects, or even people for granted. What if a rich person's money disappeared and ended up with a poor person? It would be hard for the rich person to get used to the poor life. however, the poor person would be very grateful for the money. Clearly this theme is a very important theme for the story and for real life.