Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Nicholas Warner

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Rights Information

© 2011 Alexandra Macy


In the novel, Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe examines a wide range of complex issues. Defoe takes the typical adventure theme and transforms it into a thought-provoking reflection of many issues involving society. A blending of economic and religious issues is created by first focusing on economy, then bringing the issue of religion in, and finally allowing for the portrayal of the interpenetration between each. Defoe proves that it is possible to live by economic practices and monetary values while still maintaining a good, moral character. The emphasis on economic issues is extremely apparent, as Defoe calls into question the concept of money and its value, as well as its place in society. Crusoe is first portrayed as a man defined by money and ruled by economic principles. Even when removed from society, he is impelled to practice many economic conventions, such as investment, moderation and the idea of profit. Defoe creates Crusoe to be so greatly influenced by money and the economy in the beginning so as to better emphasize the intertwining of his economic side with his religious side. The Christian values and morals of Crusoe dominate the latter part of the novel. He rediscovers the Bible and its teachings and learns the importance of repentance and giving thanks. The provocative progression in unveiling the many layers of Crusoe allows for the reader to see that the man they thought to be defined by money is rather a man trying to live by the Word of God.