01 October 2010

Moll Flanders: Discussion

This plot driven narrative of her unfortunate fortunate and back and forth life did not go down well with me. I could not get into the main character. I had no interest in what would happen next. It bothered me deeply how manipulative she was, and at times I felt like screaming at the author "Get on with it!"

That said I bet this story would transfer to film well and I will probably look into the various versions made for TV etc. 

Please feel free to tell me what you think in comments. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I had many of the same feelings. There wasn't one particular goal/story arc, aside from being able to avoid poverty, and she accomplished that many times. The character's style of storytelling was often repetitive, and during the thief years, she went out of order - just when I thought that chapter of her life was over, goodness gracious, she would have about ten more vignettes to add.

    I'm a lot more forgiving of manipulation...not as a defense for deception (or stealing), but as a survival strategy. In that time a place, a person born into her situation was truly screwed for life, unless they finagled a way out of it - impossible for a person without charisma, natural intelligence, or physical attractiveness.

    I continued to be amused by the number of times she had a baby. Geez. Did women have absolutely NO control over that back then?! I mean, maybe you can't afford your 17th century-form of condoms but there's always coitus interruptus. I wonder if psychologically, that really wasn't something a woman could have a say in? *shudder*

    Perhaps there wasn't a main arc, because the idea of creaing such a woman for 18th century readers was the story itself. (Oh, the scandal!)

    Anyway, I was thinking of writing up something for my blog, but just in case I get too far behind, and never get around to it, this stuff is the gist of what I was thinking. There were a lot of observations on human behavior that I found to be notable and wise, and many things that I felt applied to contemporary western society.

    I agree that this would definitely make for a good film or mini-series. There was a film in the 90s, but Wikipedia tells me that it strays from the plot of the novel. I'd rather see an adaptation that stayed true to the characters.

    Finally, though I did think some aspects of the book were boring (this scandalous woman is not so shocking to us), it was easy to read. And I amused myself by imagining the most lascivious versions of her stories, as if she was putting a proper veneer on everything. Would it be wrong to think that this is the was Defoe intended the novel to be read? It would be funnier that way, after all.