Throughout Daniel Defoe’s, Robinson Crusoe one may see the effects of solitude on the development and life of the main character. When Robinson Crusoe becomes stranded on a desolate island, he must do whatever is necessary to survive. After being on the island for several years Crusoe learns to adapt to his surroundings and live with what he has. One thing he does not have for most of his stay there is a companion, another person to talk to, someone to share his thoughts with and help him out. To fulfill his desires of wanting company, Crusoe decides to let God become his companion. He starts to read the Bible and learn Christianity. Defoe seems to be a very strong believer in God. He believes that God’s providence shapes the lives of all men and that any unusual circumstances or misfortunes that occur happen because that is the way God wanted it. Throughout the novel one can see other instances of divine intervention in Crusoe’s life. Even though Robinson Crusoe is under impractical circumstances, stranded on this remote island, his isolation enables him to learn numerous things and become a devote Christian. He learns how to become an architect, a carpenter, a baker, a tailor, a farmer, an umbrella maker, and even a preacher. Crusoe becomes a very independent and resourceful individual as the novel progresses.
In the 17th century, the Catholic reform was sweeping through many parts of Europe. The period from 1600 to about 1750 is known as the Baroque Era. Throughout this period the Catholic Church was fighting back against the effects of the Renaissance. The people of the Renaissance society started to question their beliefs in the church and tried to rationally explain the world around them. Several crusades were fought throughout this period and in the end England and France became “Christianized.” Robinson Crusoe was published during the Baroque Era and it contained a great amount of Catholicism. Crusoe becomes a good Christian during his lonely stay on the deserted island and he also converts his companion Friday when he arrives on the island from cannibalism to Christianity. Crusoe believes that God put him on the island because that was his fate and that he must be happy with what God has chosen for him. This is the reason why Crusoe looks at the positive side of all things. Crusoe has been placed on this barren island as a punishment for his sins (disobeying his father) and for leaving his middle station of life.