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Themes of Moll Flanders

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           Themes of Moll Flanders                  

                    Farah Badawi
Ozben Aksoy      


Themes of Moll Flanders                             

                        Daniel Defoe was one of the great writers in his time. He was born in 1660 in London, England .Defoe took a new literary path in 1719, around the age of 59, when he published Robinson Crusoe, a fiction novel based on several short essays that he had composed over the years. A handful of novels followed soon after—often with rogues and criminals as lead characters—including Moll FlandersColonel Jack, Captain SingletonJournal of the Plague Year and his last major fiction piece, Roxana (1724). ( Editors.2017)(1)  .Now we will discuss Moll Flanders novel. Moll Flanders was first published in 1722; the main character is moll herself. This essay will discuss Moll Flanders themes.

                The major frequent theme in the novel is that of her being greedy, Moll sees people as Goods, her relationship with was mostly business. Although in the begging of the story she was in love with the eldest brother, she has few mind conscience about taking money from him. She then accepts a bribe from him to marry his youngest brother while the fact that she loved the elder one. After the death of her husband, the youngest brother, she leaves her kids with their grandparents and she considers herself lucky for not having such liability. She then starts choosing her husbands by their luxury and social class. All the money she gained from her husbands and the elder brother was not enough for her so she started taking money from prostitution, she start stealing from kids and people in distress. Moll was viewed as an individual covetous. Defoe main point of this is to teach people a moral lesson which is to survive our fights with weapons we have and not to try to catch what others have to win ourselves. Moll Flanders can be considered as a good example of the criminals in her time.( Arnez, Nancy Levi.2017)(2) 

              A second important theme of Moll was Vanity. It is vanity next to greed that leads Moll to do what she did in the first place, vanity determined her behavior. Moll's vanity is what made her seduction easy by the elder brother. Vanity in her did not just stop in the elder brother is also a huge component that ran in her marriages and her mistress life. It is the reason also that made her start stealing than remaining honorably poor. All Moll Flanders actions are some way linked to her vanity. (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)(3)

               Repentance is all showed in Moll Flanders. She constantly entertains the desire to repent. She lacks moral strength; her morals are quickly overcome on several occasions by the lowest pressures or Temptations. Her first repentance comes when the youngest brother asks her to marry him, she regret having an affair with his brother before because she thinks she could have had better chances. When Moll enters Newgate prison we see again another shallow repentance by Moll. She fears not for her spiritual state but for her physical being. During her stay in Newgate prison moll does not appear really repent until she talks with the pastor. Even after she talked with him she not really repent about what she did more than that she is afraid about being hanged. The fact that Moll is worried about her legacy shows how the possession of Material things has much deeper meaning for Moll than having her well-being. In the other hand we can see a contrast between Moll and the governess who has truly



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