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Robinson Crusoe Essay

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Robinson Crusoe is more than just a book or a story. It is a small encyclopedia in a manner of speaking. It tells us things about the era and the people of the time period in which it was written. Defoe introduces to us, the readers, the importance of the protestant work ethic to the European world in his time. He goes into great detail about religion, and demonstrates to us the gripping effect that it has on the person who places their faith in it. Robinson Crusoe is a story of a man that ran from God until he could run no longer. The question rings out loudly; was Crusoe changed forever because of his spiritual experience or was he just frightened into a fearful respect for God? The man Crusoe is when he steps back
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Crusoe begins to take joy in his work. Perhaps in reality Crusoe does have a protestant mindset after all? He does continue to work for the rest of his life, and take much pride in it.
From the very beginning of the story Crusoe starts his pattern of not listening to God. He leaves home “without God’s blessing” and “with the breach of his duty to God”(p.7). He begins to make deals with God and asks that his life be spared on his maiden voyage. Soon after he is bailed out of danger he breaks his agreement with God and sails again. Crusoe only called on God in time of need or distress. He forgets about God for a long time, as seen in these passages:
All this while I had not the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common, Lord ha’ mercy upon me; and when it was over, that went away too. (p.75)
Pray’d to god for the first time since the storm off Hull. (p.80)
Crusoe continues his ‘in need praying’ until the day he has a “terrible dream.” During his dream he gets extremely terrified: Lord look upon me, lord pity me, Lord have mercy upon me, (p.81) he repeats for hours. After the dream Crusoe’s spiritual life seems to change and he makes God a big part of everything he does.
Crusoe one day reflects on his “life past” (p.122); the way he treated God before; evident in the following passages:
I never had once so much as thought to pray to God, or so much as to say, Lord have mercy upon me; no nor to mention
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