by Daniel Defoe
I'll let the original full title sum up Moll Flanders:
"The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who Was Born In Newgate, and During a Life of Continu'd Variety For Threescore Years, Besides Her Childhood, Was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife [Whereof Once To Her Own Brother], Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon In Virginia, At Last Grew Rich, Liv'd Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums."
I was going to wait until I listened to my Teaching Company lecture for this book before I wrote about it, but I decided to get my initial impressions down first.
I adored Moll Flanders, the woman and the book. She's not a traditional heroine, that's for certain, but she's spunky and tough and did what she had to do to make it in a man's world. While we have come a long very way, there is still a certain stigma surrounding many unmarried women. Some people assume there is something wrong with her or that she is a lesbian or some kind of radical feminist. She herself may fall victim to societal norms and start thinking badly of herself if she does want a husband and can't seem to find one. Even if she doesn't want one, she may start to wonder what is wrong with her that she feels that way!
I discussed this book with a good friend, an avid reader and strong, independent woman herself. She didn't care for it, but her reasoning was interesting to me. Being a mother, it bothered her tremendously that Moll was continually bearing children and leaving them behind, either with the father's family or in other situations where they would be taken in and cared for. I, being only a mother to fuzzy four-legged children, thought that strange behaviour, but considering the times and her situation, I just let it go. Funny how our modern situations can color our opinions of even very old books!
I plan on listening to the lecture for this soon, so we'll see what other observations come to mind when I hear what Professor Weinstein has to say. I'll keep you posted!
Further Thoughts on Moll Flanders and Some Questions
TTC: Classic Novels, Lecture 2
Heather at Age 30+ . . . A Lifetime of Books
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!