“I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st of Sept. 1659, being the same day eight year that I went from my Father and Mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interest.”

This quote from Chapter 3 is the first glimpse the reader gets of Crusoe’s growing sense of regret and remorse for the choices he made in the novel’s first chapters. Influenced by his rebellious nature and fraught relationship with his parents, Crusoe sets out to sea. This decision leads him to become a captive slave and then eventually become shipwrecked on an island. This quote, spoken by Crusoe shortly after escaping slavery, exhibits his new understanding that he should have taken his father’s advice to stay in England and pursue law.

“I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted: and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see and covet something that he has not given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”

This quote from the novel’s ninth chapter juxtaposes Crusoe’s outlook at the beginning of the novel with his outlook midway through the novel and at its end. The beginning of the novel finds Crusoe greedily seeking further wealth and adventure despite the comfortable life he’s afforded by his family’s standing and success. Crusoe’s misfortune is incited by his decision to spurn what’s given to him in favor of a journey at sea. This quote, however, shows that his experiences sailing across the world and on the island he finds himself shipwrecked on have changed his values. Through repentance and self-reflection, Crusoe has learned to appreciate and find joy in the things he has rather than seeking more. 

“But I needed none of all this precaution; for never Man had a more faithful, loving, sincere servant, than Friday was to me; without passions, sullenness or designs, perfectly oblig’d and engag’d; his very affections were ty’d to me, like those of a Child to a Father.”

This quote from Chapter 14 showcases two milestones for Crusoe. First, his admitted affection towards Friday is the first moment the reader sees Crusoe care for one of his subordinates beyond simply caring about their usefulness. Crusoe never showed this consideration for Xury, and though this admission of affection does not absolve him of being a slave owner, it does signal a change in Crusoe’s character. The second milestone is Crusoe finally reaching some sort of familial bond with another. Crusoe failed to establish this sort of affection with his own father, causing him to set out on his initial sea voyage, but is able to replicate the idea of a father-son relationship through Friday.