Comment on the following statement from Robinson Crusoe:
'' ... and I must confess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have been thankful for such a strange and unforeseen providence, as if it had been miraculous...''
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There are a number of comments that we could make about this important quote from the novel. A major theme of this work is that of religion and the movement of the eponymous hero from perdition towards salvation and a prodigal return to the fold of the church and to reintegration into life and religion. The incident that inspired this quote comes early on in the novel when Crusoe, finding some left over grain from the remnants that he salvaged from his ship, throws them unthinkingly into some grass. He is amazed a few weeks later to see that they have taken root and have begun to grow. Although initially he remembers he was inclined to see this as some sort of miracle, he quickly sees that this is nothing more than science rather than some form of divine intervention.
Key to focus on however is the way that Robinson Crusoe is narrating his adventure looking back on it having survived his shipwreck. The older and maturer Robinson Crusoe has been challenged by his experiences to believe once again in God and to adopt religion. He therefore includes in this quote reference to his new perspective on life and God, saying that even though it was "common" for wheat to grow from seed he still should have seen it as a "strange and unforeseen providence." This quote is an example of a retrospective first person narrator, where an older narrator looks back on his life and comments on his experiences with the benefit of hindsight and greater perspective. This quote you have identified shows the journey of the narrator from being not interested in religion to adopting Christianity once more.
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