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Allusion in Robinson Crusoe

Allusion Examples in Robinson Crusoe:

Chapter I - Start In Life

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"Jonah in the ship of Tarshish..."   (Chapter I - Start In Life)

This is a biblical allusion to Jonah 1:1-3. In the story of Jonah and the whale, God tells Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to preach against the wickedness there. However, Jonah runs away from these commands and instead travels to Tarshish. There, he sets sail in a boat which will later be swallowed by a great whale. The captain suggests that like Jonah Crusoe will continue to be punished for denying God’s will.

" had even killed the fatted calf for me..."   (Chapter I - Start In Life)

This is another allusion to the biblical story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:23. In it, the prodigal son’s father states “Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate” upon his son’s return. Crusoe imagines that he would be welcomed in the same way back into his father’s house in Hull.

"prodigal..."   (Chapter I - Start In Life)

This is a biblical allusion to Luke 15:11. In the story, a father has two sons. The youngest son asks for his inheritance before his father’s death and then wastes the money and becomes destitute. He travels home to beg his father’s forgiveness and ask for work in the house to make his living. While the elder son tells his father to reject the prodigal son, the father delivers the message of the story: they must celebrate his return and accept the younger son because he was lost but he found the righteous path once again.

"when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches...."   (Chapter I - Start In Life)

This is a biblical allusion to Proverbs 30:7-8. In this proverb, King Solomon prays that God will keep him from lies, poverty, and riches, but allow him his “daily bread.” The proverb suggests that the king wants only what he needs to survive, nothing more, nothing less.

"and to give daily thanks for that daily bread, which nothing but a crowd of wonders could have brought..."   (Chapter IX - A Boat)

This passage alludes to a line from the Gospel of Matthew: “Give us this day our daily bread.” The line is drawn from a verse often referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer” and is recited in many church services. Crusoe’s reverence and gratitude are so great that he is subtly reciting biblical scripture.

"like Saul..."   (Chapter XI - Finds Print Of Man's Foot On The Sand)

Saul is a biblical figure who was the first king of Israel. After several military victories, Saul was warned by a prophet that he was not following God’s will and that God would not look after him. Saul continues war against the Philistines, a neighboring civilization, but was overcome in battle. He commits suicide, believing that God has rejected him and allowed him and his kingdom to be attacked. Crusoe likewise worries that God has left him behind, but is too distraught to pray or find solace in his religion.

""Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and He shall strengthen thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord."..."   (Chapter XI - Finds Print Of Man's Foot On The Sand)

This is a quote from Psalms 27:14. It tells Crusoe not to worry about his fate, as God will take care of him, now and in the future, as long as he is patient. With this message, Crusoe is comforted. He is able to trust, again, in divine plans.

""Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."..."   (Chapter XI - Finds Print Of Man's Foot On The Sand)

This is a quote from the biblical book of Psalms 50:15. Crusoe uses the message of this quote—that God will always take care of his faithful followers, even in difficult times—to comfort himself and reaffirm his religious devotion.

"my fear banished all my religious hope..."   (Chapter XI - Finds Print Of Man's Foot On The Sand)

Crusoe’s spiritual devotion is tested, and he is filled with doubt in God’s ability to keep him alive on the island. He has always trusted in God to take care of him, but the possibility of others arriving causes him to resolve to be more self-reliant. Notice also that Crusoe seems to be making an allusion to the biblical Garden of Eden, where food was plentiful; Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, which God had created for them out of “goodness.”

""You know," says he, "the children of Israel, though they rejoiced at first for their being delivered out of Egypt, yet rebelled even against God Himself, that delivered them, when they came to want bread in the wilderness."..."   (Chapter XVII - Visit Of Mutineers)

This is a biblical allusion to Exodus 16:1. The book of Exodus details Moses’s journey out of Egypt with the Israelites. This passage refers to the people of Israel leaving the “wilderness of Sin” after they depart from the land of Egypt.

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