1. Education

Moll Flanders

By October 28, 2013

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Moll FlandersIn life, circumstances often take us in direction we could not have imagined. Given an unfortunate series of events, we could find ourselves in places completely foreign to our sensibilities or preferences). It's in those moments of utter desperation that we learn more about our capacities. What would you do to survive if you were homeless, helpless--with nowhere to turn? Where's that "safety net" that all of us wish we'd put into place?

It's a very lonely, impossible place: destitution. And, it's in just such a place that Daniel Defoe writes about in Moll Flanders when he penned one of the first English novels, published in 1722. We learn of her many misadventures, but we also find that hidden hope (or at least self-preservation). We don't ever really know our capabilities--strengths and weaknesses--until we face those grim, brutal realities.

In Moll Flanders, we read (Chapter 10): "All that hellish, hardened state and temper of soul, which I have said so much of before, is but a deprivation of thought; he that is restored to his power of thinking, is restored to himself."

Cover Art Modern Library.

Comments

October 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm
(1) Michele says:

I read Moll Flanders years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly. I was quite young at the time and it encouraged me to learn more about the period and subsequently, I graduated college as an English Lit. major. I think that it ranks right up there with Tom Jones, Tess of the d’Ubervilles and Forever Amber. As well, I do seem to remember that the movie was horrible as are most movies taken from classic literature.

November 7, 2012 at 4:08 am
(2) Myra Waldler says:

Yes I do agree, regarding films made from classic literature. They can never convey the images that the reader experiences. I too read this novel about 5 years ago and it still resonates. Life is hard enough and yet this account of a woman’s journey through life and written by a male tells a rather harrowing tale. A female whose beginnings are all but promising. Tom Jones, I have yet to begin this most recommended novel – a contrast perhaps to Moll Flanders lot.

November 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm
(3) anglea john says:

i have read Moll Flanders. its truly wonderful but the movie portrayed an entirely different Moll Flanders. The movie was hard to digest.

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