Morals? We don't need no stinkin' morals!: A Summary of Defoe's, Moll Flanders

Essay by yoshiod9University, Bachelor'sA-, May 2004

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Daniel Defoe's, Moll Flanders, is considered one of the first novels ever written. It is a story about one woman's struggles to gain a larger foothold in the social and economical areas of her life no matter what the cost. On the part of the author, there is promise of a standard of morals the book shall adhere to.

"There is not a wicked Action in any Part of it, but is first and last rendered Unhappy and Unfortunate: There is not a superlative Villain brought upon the Stage, but either he is brought to an unhappy End, or brought to be a Penitent:There is not an ill thing mentio'd, but it is condemn'd, even in the Relation, nor a virtuous just Thing, but it carries its Praise along with it:..."

Largely, the promise was never fulfilled.

Most all of Moll's misfortunes are based on, the bastard of the novel, money.

Money is the entire reason Moll turns out the way she does. Money is the reason why she stole, lied, abandoned her children, and loved illicitly. Moll realizes how important money is when she is talking with one of the sisters and the older brother walks by.

"Betty [Moll] wants but one Thing, but she had as good want every Thing, for the Market is against our Sex just now; and if a young Woman have Beauty, Birth, Breeding, Wit, Sense, Manners, Modesty, and all these to an Extream; yet if she have not Money, she's no Body, she had has good want them all, for nothing but Money now recommends a Woman; the Men play the Game all into their own Hands."

In the novel, Moll slept with many men and was paid for it, she stole, she lied, she

abandoned her children with no remorse,