Daniel Defoe’s “The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders” is the perfect example of someone who was born in the worst possible situation for a women in Eighteen-Century England. Being born to a mother who she will never meet, because her “mother was convicted of felony for a certain petty theft scarce worth naming, viz” (Defoe 4), after she is released from prison, she leaves for America. Born into a world where the power of your family determines your future, Moll Flanders never met her mother or father, she was an orphan, “victims of negligent parents or parents whose health or lack of skills kept them from earning sufficient income to care for a family” (Reed). Children during the Eighteenth-Century who were born without parents or a guardian of any sort, were often forced into child labor. Defoe’s Moll Flanders was lucky enough to not be forced into child labor, “I was too young to do any work, being not above three years old, passion moved the magistrates of the town to order some c...
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... life until she is swept up into another school where she learns more skills. In this school, she meets the man who will take her virginity. “The lady in the house where I was had two sons, young gentlemen of very promising parts and extraordinary behavior” (Defoe 9). Being trained in various skills around the house, and the new skills she has acquired during the stay at the new school has made her very desirable to both of these brothers. The eldest made his move on her and eventually taking her virginity. After he seduces her, he abandons her, she is compelled to marry his brother; he soon dies after a few short years. She is left on the streets again, she must find a way to survive. She lacks skills to work in a factory and make a decent wage to survive on, she must marry again. But who would want a woman who has already been made into a widow at such a young age?
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- In order to explain how the main character Moll Flanders in the extract of Defoe’s novel ‘The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders’ is an example of picaresque, one might start by defining the meaning of picaresque. The Oxford English Dictionary definition reads as follows: “[Adjective] relating to fiction dealing with the adventures of a dishonest but appealing hero. – ORIGIN Spanish picaresco, from picaro ‘rogue’” The picaresque hero, however, can more generally be described as a person who does not comply social standards and fits the role of an outsider.... [tags: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe, Theft, Sociology]
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