Robinson Crusoe must overcome his fear in order to survive his long ordeal on the deserted island. The trial by fear begins when he runs about like a madman, scared of every shadow, and sleeps in a tree with a weapon: "fear banished all my religious hope, all that former confidence in God." He quickly realizes that he must recover his wits and reason if he is to survive.
At several points in the narrative, Crusoe is almost overwhelmed by his fear of the unknown. It propels him to colonize the island, securing his shelter and becoming self-sufficient. His ability to funnel his fear into productivity and creativity allows him to survive under extreme conditions.
Crusoe masters his fear when he faces the ultimate challenge—the devil. Investigating a cave, he is met by a pair of eyes. At first scared, he realizes that he can confront this enemy just like he has met every other challenge on the island "He that was afraid to see the devil, was not fit to live twenty years in an island all alone "
With that, he rushes in to confront the devil and discovers a dying goat. He has passed his trial. Had he not faced his fears, he would have run away in full belief that the devil lived in that cave. Instead, he investigates and confronts his fear.
Robinson Crusoe is a meditation on the human condition, and an argument for challenging traditional notions about...
(The entire section is 882 words.)
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