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Moll Flanders: Themes - Paper

Moll Flanders: Themes


Three recurring themes in Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe are greed, vanity,
and repentance. Theme is defined as an underlying or essential subject of
artistic representation. These three themes play an important role in the
development of the story of Moll Flanders.
The first theme, greed, is shown in Moll's acts of prostitution. Moll
turns to thievery in many instances to support herself. She also allows her
morals to disintegrate; a result of her greediness.
Moll's first act of prostitution is thrust upon her unknowingly. In the
beginning of the story, she is living with a gentle woman and her family. One
of the brothers takes interest in Moll and seduces her into becoming his ...

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she agrees to sell her body for profit. "I
found presently that whether I was a whore or a wife, I was to pass for a whore
here…" (Defoe 144). Moll's acts of prostitution show that she will carry out
illegal practices in order to get money.
Moll's many instances involving thievery also express the theme of greed.
At the end of the story, Moll gives her son a stolen watch. "… I stole it from
a gentlewoman's side at a meeting house in London" (Defoe 297). Moll says this
is the only thing of value she has to give him. One Christmas Day Moll
discovers an unattended silversmith's shop. "I went boldly in and was just
going to lay my hand upon a piece of plate, and might have done it and carried
it clear off…" (Defoe 238). Moll resists the temptation to steal because a
nearby shopkeeper rushes over after having seen her enter the empty store.
While Moll is living with the old governess she has some luck swindling a man at
a gaming-house who seems "…to be of more than ordinary ...

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Moll Flanders: Themes. (2005, September 3). Retrieved June 25, 2022, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Moll-Flanders-Themes/32724
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/3/2005 11:21:33 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1145
Pages: 5

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