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Moll Flanders | Study Guide

Daniel Defoe

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Daniel Defoe

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Moll Flanders is written in first person from the main character Moll Flanders's point of view. As an established criminal, though, Moll Flanders's reliability as a narrator is called into question. The only exception to Moll Flanders's narrative point of view comes in the Preface, which is narrated in the first person by an invented author who claims to have partnered with Moll in the telling of her story. This author's truthfulness is also called into question, however, when he claims Moll Flanders "is here supposed to be writing her own history."


Moll Flanders is written in the narrative past tense.

About the Title

The original complete title summarizes the plot, i.e. the life of the fictional Moll Flanders: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders Who Was Born in Newgate, and During a Life of Continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, Besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife (Whereof Once to Her Own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at Last Grew Rich, Liv'd Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from Her Own Memorandums.


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