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Moll Flanders



The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c...

Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and dies a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums . . .


Considered one of the great English novels, Defoe's book follows Moll Flanders as she struggles to avoid the deadly poverty of 17th-century England. From a prison-birth to final prosperity, Moll reckons love, theft and prostitution in terms of profit and loss and emerges as an extraordinary character. This vivid saga of an irresistible and notorious heroine - her high misdemeanors and delinquencies, her varied careers as a prostitute, a charming and faithful wife, a thief, and a convict - endures today as one of the liveliest, most candid records of a woman's progress through the hypercritical labyrinth of society ever recorded.

Moll Flanders is an exceptional character!--Submitted by Anonymous

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Recent Forum Posts on Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders and the Death Of The Author!

A few hours ago, i made my prose exam. There was a question saying that ; Moll's mother told Moll a story ,this story proves that moll Flanders the book is author less .Discuss. What do you think?:idea::idea:

Questionَ, need an answer

Do we have a relationship between what Moll has become and the place in which she was born?:angel: this question was raised the last exam in prose course and i am afraid it will be one of this exam's questions... any help will be appreciated.:nod: ------------------------------------------- I have got an email from one of my friends saying that moll Flanders is a historical book, which means that past causes present and (past and present) cause the future. If you are born in prison, what do you think you are going to be?!! Hehe , sounds good to me. any suggestions?

How can we read Moll Flanders?

Lots of questions came to my mind about this book.. How shall we read this book? Is it a novel, autobiography, is it a moral story, is it a historical story or is it a "novel against a novel"?. when we know what it is, we will read it.If we think that it is history then we will read in a certain way . If we think it is a social document then we will read in another way. The problem is that all these questions are existed in the book.They are equally available in the text. When we come to read ,we see hat the writer has said i am not the author and i am not the one who is saying the words. This is not fiction or imagination, this means that the book is author-less ,From the very beginning, the author is de-fictionalizing and de-novelizing the novel. He is playing with us the same game that Moll is going to play with us later. So the great problem in Moll Flanders and the key word for it is How to read? The topic is open and you can post your feeds, you are more than welcome. :as-sleep:

do you think Moll Flanders is a Novel?

I didn't fully feel that Moll Flanders is a novel. Although she was a particular character, and her life was realistic, her character does not make a connection with the reader, I felt. I didn't understand her actions and couldn't identify with her. Focused on survival as she was, maybe she didn't have time to show us her rich inner world. Still, her character was was not described deeply. The "how to" list of criminal activities didn't help as well. It was even a little formulaic : she does well, gets undone, finds a man... Although she does go through major changes and become independent, until finally she saves herself and her lancashire husband. So I am confused, can it be considered as a novel? what do you think?

Moll's children

Moll Flanders had at least 6 children (it was hard to keep count with her being so indeferent about her offsprings) and abandoned them all. Left 2 with her first husband's family, 1 with the next, 2 with her brother-husband, sold 1 or 2. She was much more occupied with her men than with her children. Even in America where she finds her son, again, for the prospect of income, and he is so welcoming toward her, she is not true and honest with him. I can see that she is just trying to survive, but her manipulative and dishonest nature is hard to like. I guess I am being self-righteous from my comfortable 21st century air, but could it be that this was the only way to survive as an 18th century woman with neither means nor family? or is it becuase a male writer is writing her story?

Roxana, or The Fortunate Mistress

I am totally amazed that no one here has started a thread on this book, so I am going to start one. Here is a lucky young lady who started life in a reasonably prosperous bourgeois family. She was married "up" at a young age (15) to a brewer's son. She thought she loved him but discovered early in the marriage that he had many serious flaws. For a while she managed with them. In spite of his profligate spending she delayed their inevitable demise for many years -- long enough to have several children by him -- the normal course of events for a young woman in that time. Then he made them destitute and ran off by himself to leave his family to make their way in any way they could. Thus start the adventures of our heroine. She descends to the very depths of hell. She begs for assistance from relatives and manages to find some refuge for her young ones, but none for herself. She finds a benefactor. She virtuously resists his onslaughts for a while and then gives in. The rest is amazing reading. After virtue succumbs to want, and want gives way to borrowed prosperity, the rest of the novel reads like Gone With the Wind or Forever Amber. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if either or both of those modern potboilers weren't modeled after Roxana. However, Roxana keep seeking her lost virtue. Even after making her forays into society again and again -- falling in love and falling in lust, and going into higher and higher corridors of power, she still looks for the thing that is lacking -- she never quite learns to be content with herself as a powerful woman. It's her inner conflict that makes this an interesting read. Defoe knew how to style an adventure and lead his readers into uncharted territory. I've read Moll Flanders, and I read Robinson Crusoe a bunch of times, but as Robinson Crusoe is to the adventurous world of men, so Roxana is to the smaller world of women of those times.

about defoe's moll...

i read the book , and i 've really loved it ! moll's tale isn't just the women's tale , but the tale of poverty which can lead to the worst consequences...
defoe's style was difficult to follow and sometimes i could not continue reading , but in the mean time , i found moll's tale so passionating , i could not stop reading after defoe's moll charmed me ...
i recommend it to all the students who don't look after stupid entertainement , but a useful one!

No Subject

The great thing about this book is not just that it is compelling and absorbing but that it is written in a style of english that is both disciplined and highly descriptive. In the initial stages of it, I really had to concentrate, but then your mind becomes atuned to Defoe's literary power.....a wonderful story!

I liked it

I read this book for fun and I was quite pleased with it. I think that it had a storyline that was compelling and quite enjoyable. The many different ways that Moll thinks of to get money to support herself was interesting and engaging. I'm defintely going to read it again.

No Subject

The whole point of reading this book is too read one of the first ever novels. This novel was one of the first of its kind so it is interesting to see how the novels had evolved since this first book. It is likely that Defoe wrote this book in one go with little or no editing which is why there are so many ambiguities.
It is hard to read because information is given to us in a conversational manner, not in the constructed and considered way we normally receive in books.
I enjoyed this book becuase the plot line is really very good and exciting. The book is a little cheapened by the whoring which he probably only put it in to gain readers, and the ending is tacked on and a little obvious and simple.
Its really about the struggle for survival, what length will people go to to survive economically. Defoe himself was bankrupt so i feel the issue is vbery close to his heart and he wrote this book to express his feeling on the subject.
The man wrote for money which i have to respect!

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