Daniel Defoe, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

Stuart Sim (University of Sunderland)
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Moll Flanders, like Robinson Crusoe, owes a debt to spiritual autobiography, from which it derives much of its basic narrative structure. An embattled individual facing a hostile world, Moll sins and repents in the serial fashion of the protagonist of spiritual autobiography, undergoes the characteristic 'conversion experience' where she is given evidence of God's support (in Newgate Prison, in Moll's case), and finally triumphs over adversity to reach a state of personal security. Moll is also in the picaresque tradition of prose narrative, harking back to earlier Spanish models featuring the 'picaro', or rogue, figure, with Moll herself turning into an engaging female picaro, existing by her wits on the margins of …

1958 words

Citation: Sim, Stuart. "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 June 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=612, accessed 21 March 2023.]

612 The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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