Money as an Evil


Evil lurks in every corner of our lives and we use it to our advantage, but it is also quite necessary for our survival.  In Daniel Defoe’s novel, Moll Flanders shows that evil is successful over good in man’s struggle for survival in England’s society.  The main character Moll Flanders shows the way that evil becomes beneficial for survival through manipulation of others, gains valuable life experiences, and is successful for survival.  One evil that is clearly stated in almost every page is money.  Moll’s life revolves around how much money she can make at a young age through her adult years.  She tells the nurse who has taken her in at age 8 that she can work, and that eventually she will earn her own way in the world.  When the nurse is in doubt that Moll can really work for her, Moll responds, “I told her that if she wou’d keep me, I wou’d Work for her, and I would Work very hard” (12).  With money as an evil that surrounds her, Moll struggles her whole life to be part of the upper class society. 

Most of Moll’s actions are revolved around the cravings and desires for money.  She searches in need of money husband after husband who has money so that she can use it for herself.  She disguises herself to give men the impression that she is also wealthy and uses her beautiful looks to seduce her future husbands.  Moll even says, “He [potential husband] was surpriz’d at my Discourse; for we made it the whole Subject of our Conversation for near a Week together, in which time I laid it [where the money is going] down in black and white…”(125).  She knows what she wants and how she is going to get the money. 

Not only in this relationship, but also in all of Moll’s other relationships are built upon money as well, which becomes an evil or temptation for her.  This focus on making more money instead her new husband is always the downfall for her relationships, which end up with a divorce or leaving town in search of new people.  Moll’s plots and schemes are constantly in the back of her mind because she believes that all matters in life are directed towards the achievement of wealth.  This evil is a desire for more money takes over her life throughout the novel because it is Moll’s ambition to become rich.  She is willing to do anything to be in the elite society of England and obtain as much money as possible.


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