Compare And Contrast Mary Read And Moll Flanders

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Daniel Defoe wrote the first English novel; a novel is a book of length with one unifying element. It was considered a new form of writing that was not yet developed. Most novels are picaresque, meaning the plot centers around a series of adventures for a character. Daniel Defoe wrote the novel, “Moll Flanders.” It was a novel about the adventures of a girl’s life from beginning to end; however, it was not divided into chapters. The word “moll” actually meant “mother,” and the word “flanders” meant “cloth.” Defoe also wrote an excerpt about two ladies who were taken onto a ship as prisoners; they were deemed “pyrates,” and they actually existed. Mary Read and Anne Bonny were the two pyrates that Defoe wrote about. Both women were mistresses…show more content…
Mary Read was born to a single mother; her father ran away and left her mother before she was born. Her mother was very young when she got married, and spent her life working to give Mary Read what she could. However, only way Mary Read would survive was through a disguise as a man. Mary Read was dressed as a boy and taken to her grandmother. There, “…it was agreed betwixt them, that the Child should live with the Mother, and the supposed Grandmother should allow a Crown a Week for it’s Maintenance (7).” The mother was able to provide for Mary Read for a little while off the “grandmother’s” money. Just like Moll Flanders, Mary continued to steal money from people by cross-dressing. On the other hand, Anne Bonny was a headstrong woman who, like Mary Read, had a temper. But, she fell in love and eloped with a man; she then had a child with him (11&13). Mary Read and Anne Bonny were tried and found guilty after the King’s proclamation for every pyrate’s pardoning was issued. Both were found guilty, but both “pleaded their bellies.” Although both women were sentenced to be hanged for the violence they had committed, the Kind delayed their sentence. Although Mary Read and Anne Bonny were real, their depictions by Defoe are the same as his depiction of Moll Flanders. Moll Flanders was a woman who chased after men for money. Mary Read and Anne Bonny were two women that fell in love, but stole from people to get what they wanted; and they did so through violence. Both picaresque novels by Defoe create accounts for his feminist view and place a strain on his

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