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Section 13

Companionship

Within the year, Friday begins to speak English. Robinson is quite happy with the arrangement, and says it's the best year he's had on the island yet. They begin to love each other quite much, according to Robinson who feels that Friday must have more affection for him than he has ever had for anyone in his life.

Friday has information about the nearest mainland, and explains to Robinson the sea routes that he and the other cannibals ordinarily took to reach the island. Robinson concludes, from Friday's description, that they must be somewhere near the Caribbean. Friday tells him that in order to reach populated islands, Robinson must build a boat as large as two canoes.

Robinson next becomes absorbed in teaching Friday about Protestantism -- the religion that Robinson subscribes to. He describes Christ's dying for the sins of the people. He explains the importance of prayer. Friday's responses indicate to Robinson that he does has a sense of religion, though not quite the same as a Westernized version. He believes that after death all souls go to "Benamuckee," who is their god, and that there are a kind of clergy called "Oowocakee." When Robinson learns this, he concludes that even amongst the most seemingly savage nations, there exists a sort of organized religion, even one that is recognizable to Europeans as such. He suggests to Friday, however, that this religion is fraudulent because it fails to recognize his, European, God. He suggests that perhaps this Benamuckee is in fact the Devil in disguise. Robinson draws several specious links between the savagery and "backwardness" of the non-Western world, and the possibility that the Devil has set up camp there, holding sway over its inhabitants. Robinson finds, however, that the notion of the Devil is even harder to impress upon Friday than is the notion of a Western God. Friday, it turns out, has no concept of evil. He asks questions that in fact give Robinson pause to wonder, such as, if God is so strong, then why doesn't he simply kill or otherwise do away with the Devil? Thrown for a loop, Robinson struggles to come up with a response. The only way he is able to explain the existence of the Devil is by making an analogy to human beings. Robinson says that if God was going to kill the Devil for his evil, He might as well kill most human beings, who daily struggle against the evil in their hearts. Instead, says Robinson, God gives everyone the chance to learn and repent. Friday is still somewhat reluctant to buy into Robinson's scheme, at which point Robinson gives up and hastily draws the conversation to a close, concluding that nothing but divine revelation can make Friday understand. He begins to pray to God that Friday will see the light. He spends the next three years conversing with Friday on such topics. He describes this time together as utter happiness. At the end of three years, Friday, he says, is a Christian.

Robinson next embarks on explaining to Friday how it is that he came to live on the island. At hearing of the shipwreck, Friday becomes very excited, and reveals that a shipwrecked boat of white men washed up at his homeland, perhaps around the same time that Robinson describes his own wreck to have occurred. Robinson begins to wonder if perhaps the remaining men from his ship did not die, but in fact came upon a different island. Friday says that these white men are now living amongst the natives on his island more or less amicably.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Preface
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17



 






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