Crusoe ends up alone on a deserted island
where he learns to live a fuller life and appreciates what he has been given by
God.     In the first half of the novel,
Crusoe only thinks of himself and does not have any thoughts about God. He
spends much of his time establishing a home for himself and managing his crop
investments, and his focus is on how he can optimize the tools and resources
that he has on the island. While Crusoe manages to do this successfully, he
makes no progress in leaving the island and returning to his life.

On his very first journey, previously
discussed, Crusoe promises to return home if

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God saves him from the storm. Although
Crusoe does live, he fails to live up to his word

and admits, “my fears and Apprehensions of
being swallow’d up by the Sea being

forgotten, and the Current of my former
Desires return’d, I entirely forgot my Vows and

Promises that I made in my Distress” (9).
Crusoe largely forgets about God once on the island and attempts to survive on
his own. After years of maintaining a rather passive relationship with God,
Crusoe undergoes an experience that changes his view on religion and influences
his actions in the latter half of the novel. While being sick with a fever,
Crusoe cries out to God asking for pity and Mercy. He then sees “a Man descend
in a bright Flame of Fire” who tells Crusoe that “seeing all these Things have
not brought thee to Repentance, now though shalt die” (82). Crusoe is not only frightened,
but he begins to reflect on his attitude and relationship with God since arriving
on the island. He comes to an important realization and acknowledges, “I do not
remember that I had in all that Time one Thought that so much tended either to
my looking upwards toward God, or inwards towards a reflection upon my own
Ways” (82). It is this sudden revelation that allows Crusoe to become
self-reflective and realize that he needs to not only be more thankful to God,
but to repent his many sins. In the most extreme and helpless of situations,
Crusoe still does not find any need to look to God for guidance or to even pray
for help. It takes a profound, yet alarming vision for him to realize that he has
forgotten about God and needs to work on his faith and his character. The
impact of this vision connects to Defoe’s inclusion of the Prodigal Son
reference, as it forces Crusoe to turn to God. When looking at the novel as a whole,
Defoe also uses the vision to strengthen the religious theme that runs
throughout. As his sickness endures, Crusoe cries out to God, asking for help
in his time of distress, and then notes that it was his first prayer said in
many years (85). Crusoe finds the strength to open up the Bible and falls to
the words, “Call on me in the Day of Trouble, and I will deliver, and thou
shalt glorify me” (87). Crusoe sees just how applicable these words are in his
situation and begins to grow hopeful. That night, Crusoe shares, “but before I lay
down, I did what I never had done in all my Life, I kneel’d down and pray’d to
God to fulfil the Promise to me, that if I call’d upon him in the day of
Trouble, he would deliver me” (88). Crusoe continues to act on his desire to
strengthen his faith and better himself as a person, proving that underneath
the money driven man, there is a remarkable spiritual integrity. He admits, “I pored
so much upon my Deliverance from the main Affliction, that I disregarded the Deliverance
I had receiv’d; and I was made to ask my self… Have I not been deliver’d, and wonderfully
too, from Sickness? From the most distress’d Condition…” (89). Crusoe realizes
that he has focused so much on needing to be saved from the island, that he has
not remembered to be thankful that his terrible illness has passed. God was
non-existent to Crusoe, which left himwith a huge void in his life and led him
to act in selfish ways. By finding God and establishing a relationship where he
could rely on a stronger power, he grows to have a positive attitude and live
in more of an altruistic manner. Crusoe continues to reflect on his Christian
duties and exemplifies the epitome of a selfless man. Crusoe begins to be
thankful for the little things in life and remembers to acknowledge God for his
many blessings. Crusoe has truly altered his perspective on
life and we find that the more Crusoe reflects on life and his situation, the
more his eyes are opened to the goodness of God.

Not only does Crusoe want all people to know
about God and live by the Bible, but he admits that Friday would be an even
better Christian than himself. Crusoe truly cares for Friday and wants what is
best for him. He teaches Friday how to live civilly and opens his eyes to the
Christian religion. One of the strongest examples of Crusoe’s change in
attitude can be seen at the end of the novel when he is finally able to depart
the island and arrives at home, in

civilization. Upon his arrival, Crusoe
re-connects with old friends and manages to

accumulate his wealth and land. He does not,
however, “forget to lift up his Heart in

Thankfulness to Heaven…” (252). This starkly
contrasts with Crusoe’s former attitude,

which can be seen when he first lands on the
island and finds himself to be the only one

saved from the wreck. He admits to being
simply “glad I was alive, without the least

Reflection upon the distinguishing Goodness
of the Hand which had preserv’d me” (83).

Crusoe proves himself to be a moral man and
shows that he accepts God and has changed his selfish ways

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