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Morality and Religion in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders

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Daniel Defoe was born in 1660.Daniel received a very good education as his father hoped he would become a minister , but Daniel was not interested.His family were Dissenters, Presbyterians to be precise, and those sects were being persecuted a bit at this time so maybe Daniel had the right idea.He was always very tolerant of other's religious ideas himself he was a good puritan at the same time.He'd pretty much against the ministry,though he wrote and spoke in favor of the Dissenters all his life.However being a religious man he sometimes critisized Christianty .Somehow he reflected his beliefs in his books,writings.

Wherever god erects a house of prayer,

The Devil always builds a chapel there;

And 'twill be found ,upon examination,

The latter has the largest congregation.

(from The True-Born Englishman,1701)

Daniel Defoe's most famous novel with the full title is The Life and strange and surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe ends up on a desert island.With only a few supplies from the ship he builds a house , boat and a new life.His island is not wholly uninhabited,though, and there is the exciting but ominous presence of cannibals who Crusoe occasionally encounters and saves a native from.The latter becomes his servant, Man Friday.The crew of a mutinying ship finally rescue our hero, but it is his adventure on the island that interest us.The first novel, though, is particularly notable for its detailed verisimilitude allowing us to believe in the situation-something assisted by the uncomplicated language used by the author.

In Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe has a gradual moral approach.At first he is not a religious man but with some ...

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...ations.Most importantly, from his thoguhtful reflection emerges appreciation for God that provides him with spiritual sustenance through all his days. Crusoe develops a keen ingenuity and, most important, returns to the Protestant religion he had spurned in going to sea.In Moll Flanders , her immoral actions have no real consequences, and the narrative tends to excuse her behavior by referring it to material necessity. The book therefore generates a conflict between an absolute Christian morality on the one hand, and the conditional ethics of measurement and pragmatism that govern the business world, as well as the human struggle for survival, on the other.

Works Cited

Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Ed. David Blewett. London: Penguin, 1989. Print.

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Ed. Thomas Keymer. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print. Oxford World's Classics.