Marry for Love… I Think Not

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The men who involve themselves with Moll Flanders become either the shame of their family, a shameful two-timer, or ashamed of incest. Moll causes all of this shame because of her idea of marrying for money. This passage clearly represents Moll’s point of view, “this Creature, the go-between that had betrayed us both, had made me believe strange things of my Marrying to my Advantage in the Country, and I was not willing to be without Money whatever might happen” (119).  This “Creature” is the sister of her Irish husband, and he is just one example of Moll’s ignorance and pursuit of money.

            Moll tosses blame from one person to another, from her mother to this man’s sister, never taking responsibility for her actions. She blames this woman for this “betrayal”,” yet both her and the Irishman sought financial gain in their relationship and that is why the sister deceived them, trying to satisfy them both. Moll seems to ignore how she has always ended up in poor situations due to her incessant lust for social stature. This passage is sums up another time when Moll fails to hold herself accountable.

            There have been plenty more experiences in Moll’s past that demonstrate her crave to be a “Gentlewoman.” For example, she first uses marriage to achieve this goal with Robert, the ashamed brother of her host family ruining her chances for an education in a happy home. In search of a new source of money, she moves to a popular city for wealthy sea captains. Ironically when she finds a rich husband, it turns out to be her brother. Once again there’s another failed attempt at money. Finally, there was the friendly gentleman at Bath who was sought after by the woman at Moll’s inn. He was requested to stay as part of a plan to satisfy Moll’s quest for money, and she ruined his honor by sleeping with and encouraging him to pretend he was not married. If she would just think about the presence of love in her relationships, they might work out. The passage above presents the Irishman as another example of another fellow to fall into Moll’s trap.

Moll Flanders’ reflection of how “[she] was not willing to be without Money” is a great example of her actions during the novel. Moll has always looked for opportunities to be higher on the social class. But what could be easily overlooked is how Moll blames the “Creature” for her point of view on marriage. Daniel Defoe satirizes Moll’s idea of marriage with her frequent failures in the story. But even though most would read this passage and frown upon Moll’s character, they must hesitate because this philosophy was not uncommon for Defoe’s time. Moll Flanders is just a figure that represents the feeling of the time period.

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One Response to “Marry for Love… I Think Not”

  1. devyngallagher Says:

    Reblogged this on What's My Role? and commented:
    Want more information on Moll and her role in marriage? Check out this great blog full of loads of information on Moll and her roll in marriage.

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