Robinson Crusoe

Spiritual Sovereignty: Crusoe’s Religious and Colonialist Journey College

While Robinson Crusoe is undoubtedly a story of survival, it is first and foremost a story of religious and spiritual growth. Crusoe’s spiritual journey affects every single aspect of his life and draws him to reconsider many of his close-held beliefs, like his right to sovereignty over the island on which he is stranded. Interestingly enough, his core belief about sovereignty does not change at the surface level. At the beginning of his journey, when he first arrives at the island, he believes it belongs to him, and takes pleasure in that. Toward the end of his time at the island, he still feels the same way, but his justifications for that belief have changed due to his changed beliefs in religion. Throughout the entire novel, Crusoe believes he has sovereignty over the island and its inhabitants, but his new-found religious beliefs allow him to justify that sovereignty through an idea of divine obligation.

Upon arriving at the island, Crusoe quickly develops an idea of his sovereignty over the land. This concept is immediately met with comparisons to the way in which English lords preside over their own land, as seen in the quote: “I might have it in inheritance, as completely as any lord of a manor in England” (80). It is...

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