They live happily for several years, but he then dies. He spent three months in Newgate Prison where, with his usual resourcefulness, he seized the opportunity to explore the social and psychological characteristics of his fellow inmates.
A few years later, when the Whigs came to power, Defoe quickly switched to their party line. Moll eventually grows careless of her safety and, as she herself had predicted many times, she is captured and returned to the place of her birth, Newgate Prison.
A second aspect was her ruthless pursuit of money.
She acquires a Characterization of moll flanders fortune before she is caught. I seemed not to mourn that I had committed such crimes, and for the fact as it was an offence against God and my neighbour, but I mourned that I was to be punished for it.
However, rather than establishing himself as an advocate for the Whigs, the more progressive party in eighteenth—century British politics, or aligning himself with the Tories, who tended toward more conservative views, Defoe alienated influential leaders on both sides. Table of Contents Analysis Defoe wrote Moll Flanders at a time when there was still little precedent for the novel as a genre, and he accordingly felt compelled to justify his book by presenting it as a true story.
However, even though his writings on trade display great insight into the principles of modern commerce, he failed to achieve his own economic success. Unwilling to marry her, he persuades her to marry his younger brother.
Defoe creates in Moll a character of limitless interest, in spite of her unconcealed ethical shortcomings. Moll is finally caught by two maids whilst trying to steal from a house. She often swears that she would have gotten her act together sooner if only she had known how tough things would get.
This text also illuminates the familiar genre theory I use—one that sees genres as variously institutionalized sets of reader expectations—by displaying irony as a kind of generic negotiation. The younger son, Robin, falls in love with her and becomes her first husband.
Moll Flanders illustrates unflinchingly the kinds of motives that rise to the surface in human life under hardship and duress, and the frankness with which Moll discusses her own motivations is an appeal to their universality. Soon after Queen Anne succeeded William, Defoe was charged with high crimes and misdemeanors for writing The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, a satire on religious intolerance.
Because characters sometimes appear and disappear rather quickly within the novel, the best way to read the story is to make notes and compare them to summaries and analyses contained in this study guide. Preface, 2 Right off the bat, then, we know that Moll is going to be a bit hard to pin down, and her namelessness is a big part of that Teflon personality.
She gives birth and the midwife gives a tripartite scale of the costs of bearing a child, with one value level per social class.
And in a character known for her trickery and deceit, moments of honesty should be cherished. Truly desperate now, Moll begins a career of artful thievery, which, by employing her wits, beauty, charm, and femininity, as well as hard-heartedness and wickedness, brings her the financial security she has always sought.
But why all this secrecy? In late middle age, Defoe turned to novel writing. Eventually they are reunited in prison and begin a new life together in America. Both she and her husband get to feel bad about it all at their leisure, and not worry about, say, food or shelter while they do so.
I was apparently handsomer than any of them; secondly, I was better shaped; and, thirdly, I sang better […] in all which you will, I hope, allow me to say, I do not speak my own conceit of myself, but the opinion of all that knew the family.
He was forced into bankruptcy and narrowly escaped imprisonment for debt. Moll marries the banker, but realizes "what an abominable creature I am!
With the help of a Quaker, the two found a farm with 50 servants in Maryland. But this also makes her a bit of a threat. Or is it all just lip service?
Can you blame her for wanting to move on?Abstract. This essay applies genre theory to the Moll Flanders in order to outline a new history of character, reinterpreting the accepted division between early modern, “flat” characterization and the ostensibly more complex psychological practice of later realism.
In the last fifty years, this contradictory text has become an important site of contention. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Years a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her brother) Twelve Years a.
If Moll Flanders is surprisingly unmoralizing, Defoe's indulgent attitude toward his heroine accords with the reaction of most readers. E.M. Forster called the book "a masterpiece of characterization," and it is a testimony to the psychological nuance of her character, as well as to its liveliness, that we like Moll more than we censure her.
Moll Flanders is the ultimate trickster. We spend four hundred pages with her and learn a bunch of intimate details about her life, including her romantic relationships, her sex life, and the status of her bank account, but we never learn her real name. Moll's vanity and greed are the main focus of the characterization in the novel.
Quite early in her life she has an all-consuming desire to become a gentlewoman, a fact which was almost impossible for a lower-class woman. Moll, the heroine of the book, was born in Newgate Prison and abandoned at about a year-and-a-half. She was a forceful, persistent, resolute young girl who obta Moll Flanders.Download