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Whereas Crusoe, in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was a young man very much concerned with doing for himself and not overly concerned for others, I find that the change that most impresses me in Crusoe is his consideration of others.
When Crusoe is returned to civilization, he finds that his parents are dead. Thinking Crusoe lost, never to return, no financial arrangements had been made for him, so he had next to no money. Happily, the captain (whose ship and cargo he had helped to rescue from the mutineers on his island) had reported Crusoe's part in saving all to the owners of the ship; this brought about a reward of almost two hundred pounds, sterling, to Crusoe.
From this point, Crusoe decides to return to the places where he was first taken in after being enslaved himself, as well as to his Brazilian plantation. Upon his return to Lisbon, he finds that some of those who assisted him—or members of their families—are still live. For the widow of the man who had been so instrumental in getting Crusoe back on his feet at a difficult stage of his life, he provides her with money and a promise of more to come. To the captain who had been so kind, and gives such an honest accounting of how he has used Crusoe's money over the years, he rewards him with money that comes to him from profits over many years on his Brazilian plantation.
When I came to Lisbon, I found out, by inquiry, and to my particular satisfaction, my old friend, the captain of the ship who first took me up at sea off the shore of Africa.
His partner on the plantation he also rewards, amazed again at his honesty.
There was a letter of my partner’s, congratulating me very affectionately upon my being alive, giving me an account how the estate was improved, and what it produced a year...
He gives money to the monastery (St. Augustine's) that had received some of his assets, to further support the monastery, as well as the poor. He sends money to his two sisters whose lives are not as satisfying as they could be.
Crusoe has become so grateful for the kindness shown to him in the past that he cannot help but reward those who extended their help in his time of need. He is generous, compassionate and almost physically overwhelmed by the goodness extended to him in the past, and the integrity each person now greets him with at his return. He cannot move on with his life without showing his appreciation to these good people.
Crusoe has become a man of depth and good character in extending his goodwill (and financial support) to others. The Crusoe of thirty-five years ago is gone, and a new man has taken his place who appreciates what he has, how much he has been blessed, and hopes only to extend those same kindnesses to others.
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