- An incredible quantity of animals are killed. It's seriously like every couple of pages they take down a kangaroo, shoot an agouti or chop a snake. After the fact they talk a lot about the "magnificent creature" but beforehand they don't think twice. They don't even know what most of the animals even are and they start shooting. (They also have an unending supply of ammo.)
The irony of the family often being afraid of "savages" in this context is pretty thick.
The variety of animals is also pretty astonishing (which is to say fictional). On what island exactly do monkeys, wild hogs, buffalo, kangaroos, lions, boa constrictors and ostriches all coincide?
- There are many similarities to Robinson Crusoe. I noticed them at the time but can't think of any now, so I'm left with the obvious statement that they are both shipwrecked on an island.
Anyway, in the text they mention that they are Swiss (duh) and don't speak English (whoa!). Looking it up afterwards, it turns out that "Swiss Family Robinson" is kind of a misnomer. They aren't named Robinson. In fact, their name is never given, only the 4 sons are addressed by names with the man being the narrator and the wife called "the wife" or "the mother". The real translation of the original title is more like "The Swiss Robinsons" as in "a Swiss version of the Robinson Crusoe".
Also, especially near the end, there were many similarities with some of the Heinlein juveniles. I think RAH even said he'd "filed the serial numbers off" of SFR a couple times. Knowing the actual plot of the original now, I should reread the juveniles.
I feel like such a retro-nerd messing around with them, although I can barely do even simple problems. You really get a sense of what a chore basic computation used to be if this slow, error-prone, laborious process was the easy way.