by Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
[…] had I come to London unmarried, I must either have come to him for the first night's entertainment, or have discovered to him that I had not one acquaintance in the whole city of London that could receive a poor bride for the first night's lodging with her spouse. But now, being an old married woman, I made no scruple of going directly home with him, and there I took possession at once of a house well furnished, and a husband in very good circumstances, so that I had a prospect of a very happy life, if I knew how to manage it; and I had leisure to consider of the real value of the life I was likely to live. (728)
There's no room for romance in this passage. Moll knows that marriage is her meal ticket. It makes her secure and acceptable in English society. And as for love? Hmm. What's that?
When I came to receive the money, I brought my governess with me, dressed like an old duchess, and a gentleman very well dressed, who we pretended courted me, but I called him cousin, and the lawyer was only to hint privately to him that his gentleman courted the widow. (945)
As it turns out, appearance are more important than anything else when it comes to establishing yourself as a high-class lady. Moll knows that as long as she has the right dress, she can fake it 'til she makes it.
[…] like the waters in the cavities and hollows of mountains, which petrify and turn into stone whatever they are suffered to drop on, so the continual conversing with such a crew of hell-hounds as I was, had the same common operation upon me as upon other people. I degenerated into stone; I turned first stupid and senseless, then brutish and thoughtless, and at last raving mad as any of them were; and, in short, I became as naturally pleased and easy with the place, as if indeed I had been born there. (1034)
The more Moll is around upper-class folks, the more she wants to be like them. So it only makes sense that the more she's around prisoners, the crazier she gets. This is a subtle example of just how much the company we keep, and the society we live in, can affect our view of the world.