Crusoe ends up alone on an abandoned island where he learns to live a filled life and appreciates what he has been given by God. In the beginning of the novel, Crusoe only thinks of himself and doesn’t have any opinions about God. He uses most of his time building a home for himself and working on his crop investments, and his focus is on how he can use the tools and resources that he has on the island. While Crusoe manages to do this effectively, he makes no improvement in leaving the island and returning to his home.
On his very first journey, Crusoe swears to return home if God saves him from the storm. Although Crusoe does live, he breaks his vow and says, “my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress.”(9). Crusoe mostly forgets about God on the island and tries to survive on his own. After years of continuing a pretty inactive relationship with God, Crusoe experiences something that changes his opinion on religion and effects his actions in the latter of the novel. While he is sick with a fever, Crusoe begs to God asking for mercy. He then sees “a man descend from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of fire” who tells Crusoe that “Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die”(82). Crusoe is frightened so much and he begins to consider his attitude and relationship with God since he arrived on the island. He comes to a vital realization and admits, “I do not remember that I had, in all that time, one thought that so much as tended either to looking upwards towards God or inwards towards a reflection upon my own ways”(82). In that moment Crusoe become self-aware and realizes that he needs to not only be more grateful to God, but to atone his many sins.
In the most life-threatening and helpless situations, Crusoe still doesn’t find any need to look to God for direction or to even pray for help. It takes a deep and shocking vision for him to realize that he has forgotten about God and must work on his faith and his personality. The effect of this vision forces Crusoe to turn to God. In the novel, religion emphasized through this vision. As his sickness stands, Crusoe calls out to God, asking for help in his time of misery, and then remembers that it was his first prayer said in many years. Crusoe finds the power to open up the Bible and reads these words, “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (87). Crusoe sees just how related these words are in his condition and filled with hope. That night, Crusoe indicate that “But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life – I kneeled down and prayed to God to fulfill the promise to me, that if I called upon Him in the day of trouble, He would deliver me.” (88). Crusoe continues to work on his desire to build up his faith as a person, proving that beneath the money driven man, there is an amazing spiritual honesty. He states, “I pored so much upon my deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliverance I had
received, and I was as it were made to ask myself, have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness – from the most distressed condition? (89). Crusoe realizes that he has motivated so much on wanting to be saved from the island, that he hasn’t thought to be thankful for his dreadful illness has gone.
God was unreal to Crusoe, which left him with an enormous void in his life and directed him to behave in selfish ways. By finding God and starting a connection where he could depend on a stronger power, he develops a positive attitude and lives in more of a noble way. Crusoe continues to live by doing his Christian duties and shows the essence of an unselfish man. Crusoe begins to be thankful for the tiny things in life and does not forget to recognize God for his many blessings. Crusoe has really changed his perspective on life and I find that the more Crusoe considers life and his circumstance, the more his eyes are opened to the integrity of God.
Crusoe wants all people to know about God. He really cares for Friday and wishes what is best for him. He teaches Friday how to live properly and explain him the Christian religion. One of the best examples of Crusoe’s change in behavior can be seen in civilization, at the end of the novel when he is finally able to leave the island and reaches home. After he arrived, Crusoe reconnects with his old friends and manages to store his fortune and land. But he doesn’t forget, “lift up his heart in thankfulness to Heaven” (252). This clearly contrasts with Crusoe’s previous attitude. Crusoe proves himself to be an honest man and shows that he accepts God and has changed his self-centered behavior.