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MonkeyNotes-Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Chapter 11: Delivered Wonderfully From Sickness

This chapter is the journal account of what happens between June 19 and July 14 of the first year. Crusoe is bedridden with a violent fever, and in his weakened state, he finds it difficult to feed himself. Somehow he manages to kill a goat and eat some of its meat. Still his condition worsens, and he cannot even get up to drink water. During his sickness, he has a vision of an angel of God telling him that although God had spared his life so many times, Crusoe has not yet repented of his disobedience. Crusoe reflects back on his life and sees how he has strayed and understands that his father's prophecy had come to pass. He sincerely prays for the first time in many years.

Crusoe grows better and manages to eat some roasted turtle eggs. He even treats himself to some tobacco steeped in rum. He starts reading the Bible, which he had salvaged from the ship, and finds great comfort in its pages. He repents of his past life, finding reassurance in the scriptures. By mid-July he is back on his feet, although still weakened by his illness.


Notes

This chapter marks the turning point in the moral progress of Crusoe. Up until this point in the novel, Crusoe has relied mainly on himself to endure the present and to prepare for the future. Through his hard work, he has done very well on the island. But he still has not repented of his past sins. While he is sick and struggling to care for himself, Crusoe has a vision of an angel of God warning him to repent. The vision changes his life.

It is important to note that Crusoe's moral regeneration begins at the point when he is least able to help himself, due to his sickness, and most depressed, due to his visions about the horrifying truth of his past. God has promised that he will help the helpless when they are faithful. Crusoe cries out to God for help and seriously prays for the first time in years, begging forgiveness. It is the turning point of his life. His conversion leads him to better health and moral growth. He begins to read the Bible in earnest and receives great comfort from the scriptures.

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