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Moll Flanders

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Moll Flanders is an excellent story about one woman's evolution from a poor economic status to a, later, mid-class caste in life. Moll Flanders used her meticulous cunning in order to survive in the 18th century. She started out with a tabula rasa, or clean slate, when she is born, but, eventually, she resorts to an immoral life in order to survive. When she learns that her husbands die very quickly, but give her money for having sex with them, she turns to a life of whoredom. This choice, however, was only done as an instinct to survive.

In the 1800's, the legal system was not in a woman's favor. Women would not inherit anything when their husbands died. Which is why Moll Flanders had to resort to a life of crime after she no longer looked good enough to make a living as a whore. This all, eventually, led to her imprisonment and trip to America to live happily with her husband.

Moll Flanders chose her life as a prostitute. She states on page 138: "Well, let her life have been the way it would then, it was certain that my life was very uneasy to me; for I liv'd, as I have said, but in the worst sort of whoredom, and as I cou'd expect no Good of it, so really no good issue came and all my seeming prosperity wore off and ended in misery and destruction;..." Whenever Moll would have kids she would sell them or give them away. Moll saw children as a biprouduct of having sex. The choice of going to whoredom, however, was only because she felt the need to survive. Most animals have this instinct to survive. Whenever she would marry a man he would pay her to have sex, but his life would be short. This caused her to have to find another person in order to have money to eat and a place to stay. This was because the legal system in the 18th century did not allow women to inherit anything when their spouses died. Therefore, Moll Flanders had to turn to a life of crime, at the age of forty-eight, when she could no longer earn a living having sex for money. The first time she steals something she feels guilty. She starts her career by stealing a watch from a small child, and she even contemplated killing him.
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