In order to truly introduce you to the joy that is Moll Flanders it is important to share the entire real title. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu’d Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Years a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her brother) Twelve Years a Thief, Eight Years a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv’d Honest and died a Penitent. I don’t need to offer any summary of the book, because, well, there it is.
She spends her entire life trying to get a better life for herself, and through that her life is sometimes good, and other times is a bit of a mess. Hence, “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders.” No matter her good intentions something in her life goes wrong. In the beginning it seems she is naive to the world, and it shows how much the downsides of her life cause her to become more calloused. Towards the end she gets to the point where she is coming up with excuses why she does what she does even if the excuses are trivial. It seems to make herself feel better.
Another fun tidbit about Moll is it seems to me like she is pregnant every other section. She never has any of her kids end up staying with her for past a couple of years. We were able to joke in class about her “motherly instincts.” She also, as you can see in the title, is married a ton of times, and once to her brother. When she finds out he is her brother she leaves as fast as she can. These facts show that she didn’t have her life together.
Neither does the fact she ends up in the same jail she was born in, and then sent to America back to where her brother and incestuous son live still. Though through some great fortune she ends up repenting for her sins, and her slate is clean, and she is happy as a clam until she dies.
One side comment that is interesting to me is that her name changes. We know her as Moll Flanders, but she doesn’t get that name until she is a thief. This in my opinion connects her to any woman. They had the ability to read the story, and the fact she changes allows them to connect without having to really think of her as themselves. Though I could be way off. Let me know what you think!