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Robinson Crusoe: Novel Summary: 21. "All I shew'd them."

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21. "All I shew'd them."

"All I shew'd them." through ".from whom every Deliverance must always be acknowledged to proceed" (pages 186-197)
Crusoe learns from the captain of the mutinied vessel that 26 mutineers still remain aboard. Crusoe reasons that those still aboard ship are wondering what happened to their comrades who made landfall (who are now the prisoners of Crusoe and company), and so he prepares to defend himself and his companions. They raid the landing boat of its supplies and knock a hole in the bottom of it, rendering it useless (so as to prevent any future visitors' escape). The anchored ship sounds its gun, signaling the missing members of its crew who are ashore. At length, the mutineers, led by the Boatswain, come ashore themselves; Crusoe and his companions ambush and defeat them. The captain tells the mutineers they must submit to the authority of the English governor of this inhabited island-a fiction that serves to help in subduing the Boatswain and the others. Crusoe, for his part, remains in seclusion, "that they might not see what Kind of a Govenrour they had." The damaged boat is prepared, and both it and the boat used by the mutineers are made ready for Crusoe and the others to go aboard the sailing ship. The captain delivers authority of the ship over to Crusoe: "My dear Friend and Deliverer. there's your Ship, for she is all yours, and so are we and all that belong to her."
Readers can, in this section, see a clear development in Crusoe's character as he exhorts the captain of the mutinied ship to resist giving in to fear: "Men in our Circumstances were past the Operation of Fear." Crusoe has, on several previous occasions, been practically paralyzed by fear: of death, of "savages," and so on. By this point in his experience, however, he has risen above fear. This development is consistent with his (rightly or wrongly) exalted view of himself (e.g.., he dubs himself-perhaps in jest, but perhaps not-'Generalissimo'; he styles himself "Governour" of the island): notice how he again reserves the right to determine life and death to himself-"every Man of them that comes a-shore are our own, and shall die, or live, as they behave to us." At the end of the section, after the climax of the action has occurred and the falling action is underway, Crusoe hearkens back to earlier pious protestations of gratitude to God for deliverance; somehow, however, they do not ring as true as they did after either of Crusoe's earlier shipwrecks. This impression can be interpreted negatively-in keeping with the idea that Crusoe represents another Adam, "fallen from grace" and cast out (albeit, in Crusoe's case, of his own accord and volition) from paradise through hubris-or positively-in keeping with the suggestion that the text is largely concerned with recognizing the need to take our destiny into our own hands instead of a passive reliance on luck, providence, or any other external force. For while this section concludes with the religious observation that God must be "acknowledge" as the one "from whom every Deliverance. proceed[s]," it cannot be denied that Crusoe, in enlisting (enslaving?) others, has become the primary agent of his own freedom.


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