Tuesday, June 28, 2011

17. Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders
Daniel Defoe

I am back!  It has been an extremely long time since I have updated this.  Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, it was more like two weeks.  Every summer, I reread my favorite series so I have not gotten to work on the list for awhile.  But now full steam ahead (until the next summer, of course).

Moll Flanders is a fictional, auto-biography about a woman who lives a "wicked" life.  Some of her exploits include incest, thievery, bigamy, prostitution, and abandoning all her children (she had like over ten!).  Of course, everything that she considered "wicked" is not in today's society.  For instance, Moll had sex before getting married a lot.  She considered this whoring while most people consider it a first date (just kidding)!

I have several grievances with this book that I just want to get out of the way right now.  First off, this novel is known as having a strong female character.  Moll is strong in her own way, I guess, but not in a cool, feminist way but more like in a "don't do this way."  It almost gives the impression that you cannot be an independent woman unless you are a horrible woman.  This novel also got a little repetitive sometimes.  Moll recounts like seven different thefts she pulled that really are the same regurgitated event.

Now to what I liked.  This novel is really interesting.  Moll herself is rather detached but you still find yourself rooting for her.  I have to hand it to Defoe, he is really good at stepping into other people's shoes.  You would think he would be less racist.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

I am going to be traveling for awhile.  I am taking the next book on the list with me.  I will also be taking The Count of Monte Cristo which is on the list but of course further along.  I will not be able to update for awhile but I will be reading!

There is an American movie adaptation of this novel but it takes a lot of liberties but I figure it cannot be that bad considering it has Morgan Freeman in it. Here is the trailer:

1 comment:

  1. I think it would be very difficult to write about the life of Moll Flanders with relish back in 1722. Defoe does write with relish, but he disguises it as penitent confessions so his contemporaries can swallow it. It seems odd from our point of view, but was really a neat trick to get away with writing this story. If he had not his contemporaries might well have considered the juiciness of this tale on par with de Sade and it would have been publicly banned