Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Robinson Crusoe

I loved this book.It was published in 1719. I was surprised by several interesting facts. Robinson Crusoe, R.C., was "drawn to the sea" a feeling I often have as I want to go sailing for a week or two. He disobeyed his father and went to sea. Several times R.C. concluded this disobedience was the cause of all his misery causing him to repent for his disobedience. He believed he was shipwrecked as direct retribution for this disobedience, comparing it to Adams Original Sin and being driven from the Garden.

Also, He was on the island for 24 years before Friday appeared. The island adventure was only about 1/3 of the book and of his adventures. It was admittedly the best part of the story. The last half was added 10 years after the first. I was surprised by 3 things. First the vast expanse of the story, the overt christian nature of the writing and the treatment of Friday. I will cover each surprise in the next several entries.

My first Surprise: this book is almost a Christian Gospel Tract advocating conversion of heathens, pagans, idolaters, and Papists. The following are 3 selections from the book.

"But when I considered my station of life decreed by the infinitely wise and good providence of God, that I ought not to dispute my Creator"s sovereignty, who has an unbounded right to govern and dispose of his creatures as he thinks convenient; and that his justice and mercy could either punish or deliver me: I say when I considered all this, I comfortably found it my duty to trust sincerely in him, pray ardently to him, and humbly resign myself to his divine will"

"I believe there is not a state of life but what may be happy, if people would but endeavor for their part to make it so. He is not the happiest man that has the most riches; but he that is content with what he hath."

"I cannot be of that opinion which some conceive, that God should decree men to be damned for want of a right notion of faith, in a place where the wisdom of the Almighty has not permitted it to be preached; and therefore cannot but conclude, that since obedience is the best sacrifice, these poor creatures are acting by that light and knowledge which that are possessed of and undoubtedly obtain a happy salvation, though not that enjoyment with Christ, as his saints confessors, and martyrs must enjoy."

Italics mine. Does some of this language sound familiar? Light of Christ, damned in ignorance, and the possibilty of salvation with the Saints? Love of Money is the root of all evil.

After Friday arrives, R.C. converts Friday from cannibalism, paganism to Christianity and that is an important theme in the story of Friday.

I will address Friday in the next post.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea there were themes like that in this book - I have never read it, but had always just assumed that it was an adventure novel. I am actually very interested in reading the book myself. Maybe you should start a book club and we can discuss the books as we all read them.