" Moll Flanders " Many questions arise when one talks about Moll Flanders. Who was born in Newgate, was a whore for twelve years, was a wife five times, was a thief for twelve years, eight years a transported felon in Virginia. Through hard and long discussions, many questions about Moll Flanders were answered but one of the toughest and hardest questions still remains. Is Moll Flanders penitent? Moll Flanders, who gets separated from her parents at young age. But she got the best that had to be offered to orphans. She is treated pleasantly by the good nurse. She doesn't do service like all the other orphans, that got paid one penny a day but gets adopted by a very wealthy family " Here I continu'd till I was between 17 and 18 years old, and here I had all the advantages for my education that could be imgin'd the lady had masters home to the house to teach her daughters to dance, and to speak French, and to write, and others to teach them musick; and as I was always with them, I learned as fast as they; and tho' the masters were not appointed to teach me, yet I learn'd by imitaion and enquiry, all that they learn't by instruction and direction.".
Here she learns many different skills that could help her through out her life span but not once does she use these skills to make a good living.
In this wealthy house she falls in love with a gentleman (older brother). Not once but in many different occasions she lets him make love to her and then takes the money that he offers to her as if it was job not love. In the end things don't turn out to the way Moll wanted them to and gets married to Robin (younger brother). She doesn't love him but marries him and has 2 kids with him. When he passes away she marries a Draper and with him has one child. The Draper spends all the money Moll had saved up and goes bankrupt. Then she marries a sea captain and has one more child who turns out to be her own half brother. Through the embarrassment they both separate from each other. After that she has an on going affair with a mad women's husband and has 3 children's and has another affair with Jemmy again has another child. From there she marries a banker for 5 years has 2 kids with him. She couldn't be penitent because she never keeps almost any of the kids that she has and doesn't have any guilt about letting them go.
Moll begins her career of stealing at a near age of fifty after her affairs and marriages. She sees the daily diminishing of her money as a kind of " bleeding to death." Moll is quite one-sided because all her concerns in life are of an economic nature and inducing sever mental distress, " I sat and sometimes raving like a distracted woman . . . I had the vaporous to such a degree, that my understanding was quite lost in fancies and imaginations. After living for nearly 2 years in " this dismal condition," she begins to steal. With the devil prompting her, she first takes a bundle from a maidservant. Then she steals a necklace from a child. Next she breaks a window and steals two rings, one diamond and another gold. In a short period of time she steals a watch from a pregnant woman, and, with the devil still urging her onward, she and a temporary confederate-teacher collect twenty-one gold watches. Moll blames the devil for he is the one that was prompting her, which I believe is an excellent excuse for her actions.
It is possible to believe that Moll did these crimes only for her necessity that resulted from poverty and had to return to a life of crime. But it is hard to believe she is "penitent" for her actions. It is nearly impossible to separate a mother from her child. And Moll treats all of her children's as if they were not her own. In her younger days she did learn many different skills in which she was very good at. But doesn't use them to make a living instead makes a living by crimes. How could she be penitent? When all her life she didn't change.