A principal force that changes Robinson Crusoe in the novel is fear. Following his discovery of the footprint on the sand, Robinson secures his home and lives in his home for two years in fear.
“I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand; I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition; I listened, I looked round me… After innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused, and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last degree… When I came to my castle… fled into it like one pursued… I resolved to draw me a fortification… Thus in two years time I had a thick grove.” (Defoe 197-207; ch. 11)
He also has an immense fear of being turned into a savage. As a person who has lived in an urban environment until he was stranded on the island, Robinson Crusoe does not wish for that to change, so he continues to practice his previous methods of living even though he should try to adapt to his new circumstances. This changes him by making him unable to work with his situation. “I began to consider about putting a few rags I had, which I called clothes, into some order; ...
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...e nor intended me any wrong, who, as to me, were innocent, and whose barbarous customs were their own disaster, being in them a token indeed of God’s having left them… I would set for them as God should direct.”
Finally, Robinson Crusoe persevered through an important self-discovery. The forces fear, natural disasters, and religion affect Robinson Crusoe’s quest, and Robinson himself, in both positive and negative ways. Fear made him stubborn and withdrawn, unable to adapt to his unfortunate conditions. Natural disasters made Robinson devout, which allowed him to grow and become accountable and thoughtful. Religion turned Robinson Crusoe into a person with a purpose while he was on the island, as before he had no determination. Forces can change people in ways they could never alter before, and the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is a flawless example of that.
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