Moll Flanders who longs for upward mobility in a time and a place that won't allow it. Seventeenth century England had strict rules about who you are and what you can do with your life. These rules help to explain Moll's downward spiral into prostitution and thievery. She's trapped in a society that gives her few options, after all. But the rules also help to explain just what keeps Moll going. Through all her misdeeds and struggles, our girl saves her money, and that frugality pays off when she arrives in the New World with a full savings account. There, having money matters the most, and people who work hard can improve their station no matter where they come from.
By the end of the book, Moll has improved her station only because she has spent so much time at the bottom of it, committing all kinds of crimes.
No matter how much money she makes or how many possessions she has, Moll will never be accepted by English society as a fine lady.