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Moll Flanders Sex Quotes

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Quote #4

I lived, as I have said, but in the worst sort of whoredom, and as I could expect no good of it, so really no good issue came of it, and all my seeming prosperity wore off, and ended in misery and destruction. (341)

There's a joke here amidst all this talk of how being a whore is bad and immoral (which sounds a little bit like platitudes, by the way, because Moll's by no means done with prostitution). When Moll says "no good issue" will follow her actions, she could mean simply that nothing good came of her behavior, or it never got her anywhere. But "issue" is also another way of saying "children." According to the morals of the time, any child born out of wedlock would be considered less good than a legitimate child, which is why Moll is also saying "no good issue [will come]" of what she's doing.

Quote #5

He took my carriage very ill, and indeed he might well do so, for at last I refused to bed with him, and carrying on the breach upon all occasions to extremity, he told me once he thought I was mad, and if I did not alter my conduct, he would put me under cure; that is to say, into a madhouse. (350)

Poor Moll. She has a really good reason for withholding sex from her husband. Unfortunately, her husband has no idea that he is also Moll's brother, and back then, it seems, men expected their wives to meet their sexual demands. So her husband is probably wondering why in the world Moll would say no, and comes up with the only explanation that would make any sense to him – she's nuts.

Quote #6

Thus the government of our virtue was broken, and I exchanged the place of friend for that unmusical, harsh-sounding title of whore. (436)

Even though Moll and the guy she's seeing at this point had agreed to just be friends – no benefits – and "govern" their "virtue" together, the guy doesn't get called any harsh names for giving in to having sex. Instead, Moll's the one who has to pick up the "harsh-sounding" label, while he just gets to be a guy. Talk about a double standard.

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