Book Analysis: Swiss Family Robinson
Johann D. Wyss was a brilliant writer who wrote The Swiss Family Robinson. He told a story to his kids and it later became the book The Swiss Family Robinson. The reason why was because his kids was so entertained and learned so much from It. The family discussed these stones and then took turns making up their own tales of adventure. Each boy took turns telling their tale and their father would write the stories down. One of the sons, Johann Emmanuel WV-s Illustrated the adventures with drawings and watercolors.
Years later, another son, Johann Rudolph Wps, a cholar, edited his father’s work and submitted it for publication who also wrote the Swiss national anthem. The books original name is Der Schwelzerische Robinson because it was originally published in German in 1812. The first English translation appeared in 1814 and since then the immensely popular book has appeared in over two hundred editions in English, Johann David Wyss didn’t get to publish the book sadly because of his death.
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His son Johann Rudolf Wyss edited and published the book for him.
The life of Johann David Wyss wasn’t like a normal person’s life. Even hough much of his early childhood life is unknown, he is still known to this day. He was born on May 28, 1743 and died on January 1 1, 1818 in Bern, Switzerland. He was a former military chaplain, he spoke four languages, loved nature, and was deeply love with raising his sons, reading to them and taking them on hikes and hunting trips. He had a wife named Elizabeth Wyss and had 2 sons,Johann Rudolt Wyss and Johann Emmanuel Wyss. Not much Is known about his wife ,but he loved his family very much and they meant a lot to him.
Even though he didn’t have much time for hem, he still made time for them. He was a typical family man; a loving husband and a caring father to his sons. He was also very religious and he devoted much of his life to the Church and to the education of his children. In the eighteenth century, priest and clergymen were some of the most learned men in the country and Johann Wyss was certainly no exception. His detailed knowledge of geography, botany, and wildlife is used to great effect in The Swiss Family Robinson. Johann Wyss grew up in Bern. peaceful and prosperous city in Switzerland. He remained in Bern for most of is adult life, apart from a brief stint as a military priest in his twenties. when he travelled around Europe with a Swiss regiment. Writing and telling stories were just a hobby for Johann. His main job was as a pastor in his home town, a job he kept for most of his adult life. In 1803, he retired to his country, where he grew fruits and kept bees. The Swiss Family Robinson started life as an extended bedtime story that Johann would tell to his sons.
The famous story of Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe in 1719, inspired Wyss’s idea of shipwrecked family – but Wyss made sure that here were parents on his island too, to instruct and guide the younger children. The Swiss Family Robinson has delighted generations ot readers with its exciting tale of a family which, though shipwrecked, along with a couple of dogs, some livestock, pigeons and geese, displays “the right stuff’ and builds a charming colony that later, they do not want to leave. “Swiss Family Robinson,” Is the story of a family’s struggle to survive In a foreign land Isolated from society.
Every day brings a new classic tale of adventure that can be enjoyed by readers both young and old. Cut off from the comforts and companionship of other humans, they use a familiarity with natural history and biology to find the resources and build the tools to construct a canoe, weave cloth, irrigate a garden, and turn an immense hollow tree into a lofty house with a spiral staircase. They domesticate buffaloes, wild asses, and monkeys. They establish farms and plantations. And finally, they have a terrifying encounter with natives from a nearby island.
All the main characters are: William- The father. He is the narrator of the story and leads the family. He knows a great deal of information on everything from roots to hunting, demonstrating bravery and self- reliance. Elizabeth- The mother. She is intelligent and resourceful, arming herself even before leaving the ship with a “magic bag” filled with supplies, including sewing materials and seeds for food crops. She is also a remarkably versatile cook, taking on anything from Porcupine Soup to Roast Penguin. Fritz- The oldest of the four boys, he is 15.
Fritz is intelligent but impetuous. Fritz is the strongest and accompanies his father on many quests. Ernest- The second oldest of the boys, he is 12. Ernest is the most intelligent, but a less physically active boy, often described by his father as “indolent”. Like Fritz however, he comes to be an excellent shot. Jack – The third oldest of the boys, 10 years old. He is thoughtless, bold, vivacious, and the quickest of the group. Franz (sometimes called Francis)- The youngest of the boys, he is 6 years old when the story opens.
He usually stays home with his mother. Emily Montrose- An English girl found on Smoking Rock near the end of the novel. She is shy but soon s adopted into the family. Nip (also called Knips or Nips in some versions of the book)- An orphan monkey adopted by the family after their dogs have killed its mother. The family uses him as a test subject for unfamiliar foods. Fangs – A Jackal that was tamed by the family. The novel was intended to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance.
Wyss’ attitude toward education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many of the episodes have to do with Christian-oriented moral lessons such as rugality, husbandry, acceptance, cooperation, etc. The adventures are presented as a series of lessons in natural history and the physical sciences, and resemble other, similar educational books for children in this period, such as Charlotte Turner Smith’s Rural Walks: in Dialogues intended for the use of young people.
Rambles Further: A continuation of Rural Walks, A Natural History of Birds, intended for young people. But the novel differs in that it is modeled on Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a genuine adventure story, and presents a geographically impossible array of mammals, birds, eptiles, and plants that probably could never have existed together on a single island for the children’s nourishment, clothing and convenience.
Johann was a smart man when it came to teaching his kids. He spent countless hours on working with his kids to be smart and ready for the real world when they got old enough to leave the house. He tought them moral and life skills. The way this relates to the book is that William “the father in the book”, was teaching them life lessons and how to survive on there own. He did his best to take care of them as long as he lived.