Amidst the roaring waves, the vessel struck against a rock with great violence. The captain asked the men to abandon ship at once. The swiss family Robinson, accompanied by their two dogs, safely made it to shore. But the search for their companions would prove to be in vain.
The vessel in which they were traveling had been sent for setting up a colony. It seemed that they were destined for a solitary life, unless some vessel should disembark on the same coast. But even under such savage conditions and with little hope of making it back to civilization, the education of his boys was never far from Father’s mind and it continued apace.
Father shows surprising skill in cutting gourd with a string. Father explains to Fritz that he had read of the process being described in books. Much benefit could be derived from reading and afterwards reflecting on what we read, he adds. Having tasted the sap of the reed stalks and finding it sweet, Father decides not to tell Fritz immediately, but to give him the pleasure of discovering it for himself.
Having discovered a thicket of large trees with stout branches, the Robinsons decide to build a home in the trees for themselves. Both for the purpose of safety and to provide a modicum of comfort.
Father assumes the role of a successful leader, as he shepherds his clan through critical times and takes all necessary precautions against unknown dangers.
What also comes across in no uncertain terms is that Father thinks of his family as a company or a corporation – decisions are taken, work is apportioned, tasks are delegated and schedules are drawn up for implementation. Efficiency is the watchword, and there is little or no place for self-indulgence. As far as they may be from civilization, standards must be met and maintained. Father admits as much – sloth is a fault where labor is a necessity. And in spite of their forced exile, they still feel connected to the larger community of mankind.
One of the strongest things in this world is the love that forms between a father and his son. Many boys grow up with the desire to be just like their fathers but for Frank McCourt having an alcoholic father causes him to grow up with the mentality of being the opposite of him. In Angela’s Ashes the interesting relationship between Frank and Malachy creates positive and negative impacts on ...
Perhaps this is a commentary on the colonial mindset that the land must be conquered and nature must be tamed. (Their dwelling must be set apart, the places known to them must be named.) Or perhaps a reflection on a work ethic which must find things to do irrespective of the situation that they may be in.In either case, they bring a near missionary zeal to their labors.
Nonetheless, Father is a keen observer of human character. He interprets Fritz’s silence on his brother’s success (in shooting the kangaroo) to the stirrings of filial jealosy. But he praises Fritz for his responsible behavior, and he resolves to take Fritz along with him on his next expedition.
Father also displays a keen sense of balance as he considers what treasures to take from the sunken vessel. Perhaps there is an unintended irony when he describes the gold and silver valuables as an abundance of European luxury. For as Father righly says, money is useless to them given the current situation. And the utility of a thing is its greatest and only value