As Robinson Crusoe salvages anything useful for his subsistence off of the shipwreck, he alludes to his materialism.
"...O Drug!.. what art thou good for, thou art not worth to me, no not the taking off of the ground, one of those knives is worth all this heap, I have no manner of use for thee, e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving...
However, upon second thoughts, I took it away..." (Defoe 57)
It is easy to take Crusoe's statement literally and dismiss him merely as an ostentatious person; however, Crusoe sees real beauty in the saving hand of God. The dominant theme in Robinson Crusoe is that sin has its retribution, but peace can be found through forgiveness and belief. Young Crusoe's "Original Sin" leads him into a desolate plight. Crusoe finds strength in God, which he has been reacquainted with while on the shoals of secularism. Providence prepares Crusoe to escape with the aid of the Spaniards, and also sends an English ship. Crusoe rises only were all people ought to rise- in thankful acknowledgment of the divine mercy.
Crusoe spurns his fathers advice and commits what he calls his "Original Sin."
His fathers Philosophy, which is designed to buy man happiness and pleasure in both this life and the next, nevertheless fails to persuade young Crusoe, who finds nothing, but boredom amid the comforts of the middle class.1
"I was sincerely affected with this as indeed who could be otherwise? And I resolved not to think of going abroad anymore, but to settle at home according to my fathers desire. But alas! A few days wore it off,... in a few weeks I resolved to run quite away from him." (Defoe 3)
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...Crusoe's conversion does not go unrequited; as he surrenders to God, the island surrenders to him. After twenty-eight years on the island, he is able to escape through divine Providence. The major theme of Robinson Crusoe is that sin leads to punishment, while devotion leads to peace. Robinson Crusoe is nothing less than a textbook in the appropriate relationships among human beings, culture, and God
3 Zimmerman, Everett. Defoe And The Novel. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 1975 pg. 36
4 Zimmerman, Everett. Defoe And The Novel. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 1975 pg. 37
5 Zimmerman, Everett. Defoe And the Novel. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 1975 pg. 37