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Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders

by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders Analysis

Literary Devices in Moll Flanders

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

This novel bounces from prison to the countryside to London to Virginia, back to England, then back to Virginia, and then back to England again. Phew. That's quite a whirlwind. Why does Moll Flande...

Narrator Point of View

With the exception of the Preface, all of Moll Flanders is told by, well, Moll Flanders of all people. That puts this book squarely in the first person point-of-view camp. In fact, even he Preface...

Genre

As the character version of the book's real author, Daniel Defoe, writes in the Preface, while "The world is so taken up of late with novels and romances," this book that tells Moll Flanders' story...

Tone

Would you call Moll honest? We mean, what else can you call a gal who tells us, in unflinching detail, about every crime she has committed and every morally questionable choice she has made in her...

Writing Style

Moll's Honesty is the Best PolicyBlowsy? What's that all about? Well by blowsy we don't' mean that the novel is written in the style of a shirt. Nope, we mean that it's told in the style of a coars...

What's Up With the Title?

Figured it was just Moll Flanders all along? Well, then, has Shmoop got news for you. You might want to take a deep breath. Here's the original:The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Fla...

What's Up With the Ending?

Lucky us, it's a happy one. And in a lot of ways, the ending of Moll Flanders is pretty different from the high stress string of lies and adventures that makes up the rest of the book. Moll and her...

Tough-o-Meter

Let's face it. The Tough-O-Meter goes up a bit every time we move back a century. It almost has to: in older books, the language is less familiar, the prose is more complicated, and the stories ref...

Plot Analysis

Infant InmateOur Moll has some tragic beginnings. She is born, quite literally, into a life of crime when her mother gives birth to her in Newgate prison. Because her mother is an inmate, Moll is b...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Initial wretchedness at home and the "Call"Practically orphaned Moll has to find her own way in the world, and her guiding light is the idea of being a gentlewoman. It's hard to think of a more "wr...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Moll, the daughter of a criminal, starts off trying to lead an honest life. Her ambition soon gets the best of her, though, as she goes from one troubled relationship to another. Husband after husb...

Trivia

Newgate Prison dates back to the thirteenth century, and remained operational until 1902. Now that's some staying power.Our man Defoe is one of the founders of the novel as a genre. No big deal. (S...

Steaminess Rating

This is a book about a prostitute; there's no getting around that. The main character's name, Moll, is even slang (from the 1600s, of course) for "prostitute." (For more on that check out "Tools of...

Allusions

Lord Rochester (242)Lord Rochester, Artemisia to Chloe (268) Solomon, Proverbs 7:22 (862)Proverbs 30:8 (741)Jesus (1047, 1058)Scripture (1058)Newgate Prison (mentioned throughout)Moll Cutpurse (776...

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