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Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders

by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Women and Femininity

Women have it pretty tough in Moll Flanders. They've only got a few options in life. They can be a wife, a mistress, a servant, a criminal, or prostitute. When it comes to choosing one of these pos...

Sex

In Moll Flanders, sex is a kind of currency. Within marriage, and outside that institution, women like Moll trade it, whether consciously or unconsciously, for housing and food. Some women even mak...

Wealth

Money is the driving force Moll Flanders – both the book and the character. It's way more important than class, love, or anything else. Moll needs money in order to achieve freedom from the serva...

Criminality

Name a crime and it's probably found somewhere in Moll Flanders' 400 or so pages. Adultery, bigamy, prostitution, gambling, thievery, murder, lying, and, oh yes, incest are all committed. Whether t...

Identity

None of the people in Moll Flanders are who they say they are. Often, they are not who Moll says they are, either. And hey, even Moll isn't who she says she is. We're exhausted just thinking about...

Society and Class

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...

Morality and Ethics

Moll can't seem to shut up about all the bad things she has done, why they are bad, and how she keeps on doing them anyways. In fact no matter how guilty she feels, she keeps right on doing the ver...

Authorship

Moll Flanders is focused both on telling a good story and on making that good story seem true. We're supposed to take Moll at her word and believe wholeheartedly in all of her adventures, no matter...

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