Friday and Robinson

Friday and Robinson

We are talking too much. It is not always good to talk. In my tribe, the Araucans, the wiser you get, the less you speak.

The retelling of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe touched my heart with these words of Friday. Especially today, when we are exposed to torrents of babble-babble on the streets, TV, internet, and everywhere around us. Unfortunately, in our case we do not seem to become wiser by the day. Even a savage like Friday seems to acknowledge such a basic truth, while famous personalities of our times are totally clueless as they go on and on with their idle talk.

After exploring the island, building a shelter, taming the animals, and meeting Friday, Robinson needs to finally be silent. He needs silence to reflect upon these things and penetrate the depth of his being.

Among all the chaos and routine of modern life we desperately need to retreat on the islands of our souls. It is not always easy to be all by ourselves, but we must begin to tame the untamable from within. Some of us will abandon the battle and board on a ship headed to other shores, but some will begin to enjoy the island and, following in the footsteps of Robinson, will decide to stay there until the end.


  • Author: Michel Tournier (1924-2016)
  • Original title: Vendredi ou la Vie sauvage
  • Original language: French
  • Genre: Adventure novel
  • Publication year: 1977
  • Public: Adults, teenagers, children
Friday and Robinson