Essay about Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe: a Spiritual Biography

1626 Words 7 Pages
Anna Katherine Kerlin
English 254, Section 008
Mrs. Patty Ireland
January 30, 2013

Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe: A Spiritual Biography

In the seventeenth century, a form of writing emerged as the idea of religion began to change. Many writers used “spiritual autobiographies” when writing nonfiction pieces. Spiritual autobiographies and later, biographies, were particularly popular because of the emphasis on the Bible in the late 1600s. The concept of spiritual autobiographies and biographies continued well into the 1700s when Daniel Defoe was making his debut in fiction novels with Robinson Crusoe. Critics described Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as a “spiritual journey.” J. Paul Hunter claimed that Defoe took a spiritual biography
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It is clear that Crusoe is changing the way he views God and prayer. Not only does he realize that God is punishing him, but Crusoe also recognizes that he must glorify God in order to be delivered from evil. Crusoe questions himself, “God had delivered me, but I had not glorified him” (70). With this insight Crusoe begins to change how he lives his daily life. Crusoe begins to use the Bible as a way to build a closer relationship with God. Crusoe states, “in the morning, I took the Bible, and beginning at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it” (71). Reading the bible had an outstanding effect on Crusoe as he read Acts 5:31, which states, “He is exalted a Prince and a Savior, to give Repentance, and to give Remission” (71). After reading these words, Crusoe raised his hands up to God and cried, “Jesus, thou Son of David, Jesus, thou exalted Prince and Savior, give me repentance” (71)! After struggling on the island for many months, Crusoe begins to feel a sense of peace as he asks God for repentance. Crusoe also acknowledges that this was the first time he prayed “with a sense of [his] condition, and with a true scripture view of hope founded on the encouragement of the word of God” (71). Defoe has allowed Crusoe to become conscious of his sin and ask for repentance. With his newfound self-awareness, Crusoe begins to live a life for God. Defoe permits the reader to feel Crusoe’s different emotions as he develops his spiritual

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