What is an analysis of Robinson Crusoe?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Danie Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is not only a classic adventure tale, one of the first novels of England, but it is also a moral tale of a prodigal son who rejects the Puritan faith and work ethic of his father, engaging in greedy ventures and a slave trading, but in the end turns to these very concepts as his sole means of survival. Especially after he is shipwrecked and keeps a diary, Crusoe finally turns to God and the Bible; thus, Defoe's novel is also a maturation novel as young and ingenuous Robinson sets sail but knows nothing about the sea or the world. But, after his twenty-eight years on a deserted island teach him that "the middle" of which his father urged him in the beginning of the narrative,

...the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation,...all agreeable diversion, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world....

When left to his own ingenuity and spiritual devices, Robinson Crusoe returns to these teachings of his father, and is certainly a better man.