I know it has been awhile since any written post has graced this blog. Not that it has been sorely missed of course, if the ratings are anything to go by. No matter I shall endeavour in these posts, in case I actually do glean something inspiring or new from the texts.
In class, Crusoe’s faith credentials have seemed to come under fire by my classmates. Is his economic individualism a subset of his Puritanism? Or does Crusoe, like a lot of men and Sunday Christians I know, separate his spiritual life from his physical life? It is, no doubt, plausible that he is the potential poster-boy for the Prosperity Gospel in this day and age. However, one needs to analyse and compare the extended Prodigal Son-allegory raised in RC, no? The Prodigal Son returned penniless. On the other hand, some critics may raise the concern that Crusoe received a return unequal to his aforementioned rebellion and eventual ‘salvation’ he receives on the island.
Another question that was raised was another facet relating to the faith in question- Did he turn to God because of NECESSITY or true repentance and atonement? Personally, I favour the latter. The Skeptical tend to take on the former view.
Robinson Crusoe also exemplifies how Crusoe, at the mercy of God, counts his blessings and the multiple mercies bestowed on him. An adventure embodied in the form of Robinson Crusoe becomes instead a religious rhetoric grounded on spiritualism and Crusoe’s physical circumstances. The left-over ambivalence carries on to his next two novels (of which I have not had the delight to read). Reading from just Robinson Crusoe alone, this open-ended ambivalence challenges many things and majority of us are perhaps inclined to judge.
“The mere suggestion- peril and solitude and a desert island- is enough to rouse in us the expectation of some far land on the limits of the world; of the sun rising and the sun setting; of man, isolated from his kind, brooding alone upon the nature of society and the strange ways of men.” -Woolf, Virginia.
Indeed, Robinson Crusoe (both the novel and character) are not what they seem. There is “peril”. There is “solitude”. There is “a desert island”. But our expectations are further thwarted by his zealous spiritual confessions that border on recompensating the God who from Cursing him has Delivered him.