It has always been my contention that while times change and the world does progress (even a sketchy analysis of history tells us that), human nature remains the same. Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, written in 1722, supports that view.
Despite her poor beginnings, though, many of her lows came of her own poor judgment. Defoe warns in his introduction not to glorify these choices, and the character herself often rails against her own decisions. Yet, through Moll, Defoe shows a fascination with the darker side of life and an understanding of this woman that fascinates me.
|Moll Flanders as played by Alex
Mainly, the book features a flawed character who nonetheless is admirable for her spunk and determination in a world where all the cards are stacked against her. Not only is she lowborn, but she is a woman. Moll makes clear the yoke she is under two hundred years before women were deemed worthy of the right to vote. She is a person of remarkable insight.
This book has captivated me and I will read it again. The language is a challenge since the wording and syntax are somewhat archaic. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to it and I skimmed some, making sure I at least had the gist of the passages.
This aspect did not keep me from understanding and enjoying the story at all. I highly recommend this classic.