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After reading and thinking about the preparatory material above, write a five-paragraph essay.
Give an in-depth analysis of your essay topic, proving your answer with sufficient and precise details from the text, including examples of attitudes, conversations, and events, as well as descriptions. Be sure to write in 3rd person, and avoid plot summary, which is a simple re-telling of the chronological events in the story.
Please use the following Thesis Statement:
“Robinson Crusoe journeys in his attitude toward Divine Providence from a rebellion against what he perceives as a disinterested authority early on, to an initial repentance and conversion through the vision-dream, and finally, to an active and mature faith in a loving God, Who protects and guides all things, by the end of his stay on the island.”
The Introduction: The introductory paragraph should supply a definition of Providence molded on the discussion presented above. In light of this definition, further comment should be made concerning Crusoe’s understanding of Providence or his attitude toward Providence, how that changes from rebellion against what Crusoe perceives as punishment to repentance for pride and selfishness to gratitude for the love of a Heavenly Father which sustains him. The last sentence should be the provided thesis statement.
I. Body Paragraph #1 should begin with a topic sentence that includes an evaluation of Robinson Crusoe’s relationship with God/attitude toward or about Providence before Crusoe experiences the vision-dream. Note Crusoe’s rebellious attitude and his inability to see Providence as a manifestation of God’s love. Rather, for Crusoe, Providence seems to be a punishing force, the justice of God without His mercy.
A. Decision to go to sea and adventures in Brazil and Africa
1. God as Father and Crusoe’s response—Providence manifested in the advice of father figures such as Crusoe’s father, the sea captain, etc.
2. What Crusoe considers to be God’s will, and why he rebels
3. Crusoe’s fear-based repentance and what this says about his fundamental belief about Providence at this point in the story
4. Why Crusoe falls back into rebellion
B. Shipwreck on the island
1. Lack of gratitude at being alive after the shipwreck
2. Reflection on Crusoe’s loneliness, and his ideas about God and Providence
C. Summary of Crusoe’s belief in and attitude toward Providence during this early period of the story, what that belief is based upon, and whether or not that belief is a relatively correct view of Providence.
1. Crusoe’s reflection on himself as the “willful agent of all [his] own miseries” and what this shows about rejecting the loving plan of God.
2. Crusoe’s own words expressing his view of Providence, “why Providence should. . . ruin its creatures and render them so absolutely miserable”
II. Body Paragraph #2 should begin with a topic sentence that conveys Crusoe’s developing understanding of Divine Providence as particularly inspired by the vision-dream, which causes him to repent.
A. Immediately after the dream
1. How the terror of his dream affects Crusoe’s thoughts about God and his behavior toward God
2. Crusoe’s new view of Providence based on respect and repentance
B. How the new attitude continues to grow toward love and gratitude as time goes on after the dream, and the ways in which it is still not complete
1. Steps that show Crusoe is acquiring the fullness of wisdom, which is love
2. How Crusoe’s maturing faith is manifested in his daily life and thoughts
3. Events and ideas that reveal some continuing weaknesses in Crusoe’s faith
C. How the discovery of cannibals, of Friday, of the Spaniard, and of Friday’s father affect his maturing faith
1. Why the revelation of the cannibals and the rescuing of Friday are so important to Crusoe’s understanding of people and relationships
2. How Crusoe observes Friday’s actions after his rescue and sees Friday’s humble and grateful response, a very different response from Crusoe’s own to a very similar situation
III. Body Paragraph #3 should begin with a topic sentence showing how Crusoe’s reaction to the mutineers and their deposed captain reveals an understanding of Divine Providence that is now based on love and trust, and which has inspired Crusoe’s complete abandonment to the direction of Providence, the loving plan of God.
A. Confidence and leadership that he has never had before
1. Crusoe’s view of himself as playing a role in the work of Providence for the English captain and the mutinous crew
2. How do the actions Crusoe takes here show a more mature and progressed faith than has yet been seen in him?
B. More respect and consideration for others
1. Examples of Crusoe’s newfound charity
2. How this charity reflects his new appreciation for Providence as a manifestation of the love of God
IV. The Conclusion: The concluding paragraph should begin with a restatement of the thesis in a slightly different way. The paragraph should summarize Crusoe’s attitude toward Providence as seen at the end of the stay on the island and after his departure, and reflect upon the spiritual journey Crusoe has made over the course of the story. What does Crusoe now believe about Divine Providence in general, and especially in the events of his own life? Upon what has Crusoe’s belief finally come to rest, as opposed to the fear that began his journey in faith? How does Crusoe’s matured faith continue to manifest itself in his thoughts and actions after he leaves the island?