Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

Compare the ways in which crime is presented in Moll Flanders and Roxana? Assess how far these criminal episodes have a continuing appeal

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Oladayo Shomuyiwa St Thomas More R.C School Candidate no. 7160 Center Number: 12632 Compare the ways in which crime is presented in Moll Flanders and Roxana? Assess how far these criminal episodes have a continuing appeal Furbank and Owen have recored more than 600 works by Defoe they have concluded the more famous titles are Roxana and Moll Flanders. Coleridge himself stated that ' Roxana and Moll Flanders stand among the few great English novels which we can call indisputably great'. These two novels explore the lives of women in the early 18th century and how crime was often a woman's key to survival. The novels are set and centered in different locations in the world the 1720's. The geographical settings and mobility of the characters express their personal ambition to be known, respected and to have the finer things in life. First and foremost, before looking into the criminal lives Moll Flanders and Roxana both led, their reasons for engaging into crime has to be considered. Moll Flanders was a child born into poverty, she was born in Newgate prison, it is ironic that she tells her reader that she was 'born into a jail cell', here it seems as though Moll Flanders life is predestined, that crime was her path in life. Moll Flanders, a street educated woman thrived upon crime as a way to escape the jagged teeth of poverty and also to live a lavish lifestyle. Roxana is a well-educated and well-bred woman, but her life of crime begins when her husband abandons her and she is left with five children. With the encouragement from Amy, her maid she turns from a virtuous woman to an immoral whore. Defoe sympathizes with woman in these times, as they were powerless in terms of marriage. Women were condemned if they had children, without being married and more to the point women were ignored and not protected by the government.

Middle

The relationship between crime and identity has to be explored. For example Moll's name is a common slang term in these times for a woman of low repute, often the girlfriend of a professional thief, Flanders was a term to describe women in prostitution. In Roxana where Roxana leaves her lavish life momentarily, she takes up Quaker dressing. This way of dressing is a drastic change from her lavish gorgeous dresses, which emphasis the change from her high life and erotic encounters to a simple way of living. Roaxna Turkish dress reveals her criminal identity as a courtesan. It interesting as their names are clear indications of their true identities and purposes. Roxana and Moll Flanders hide away behind their names and costumes to protect their identity, however their hidden identities explain that they don't want to accept who they and are afraid of who they are and how people will react to them like in Robinson Crusoe. Defoe creates characters similar to how he felt about himself as he even changed his name from Foe to Defoe. Crime is presented by the association with the devil's works in both of these novels. Firstly it has to be considered that crime in the 16th century was seen either as the work of the influence of the devil, considering at this period people tended to be very superstitious. In Moll Flanders, Moll believes the crimes she commits is caused by her devil, it says in the text 'She had enough to work on but the devil sends her out unto the streets'. It is interesting as Moll describes the Devil as a person Moll also refers to herself as a 'busy devil'. The language used here is very interesting as the word busy often refers to hard work or a dedication to work, whereas the word devil contradicts the word busy as devil associates with evil or negative works, which causes an overall effect of irony.

Conclusion

It seems as though the boat incident could have been a sign trying to encourage them to leave their immoral lifestyle. This is similar in Dr Fasutus written by Christopher Marlowe, where Faustus is given countless opportunities to give up he corrupt lifestyle but refuses. This has a continuing appeal, as the audience is puzzled and literally frustrated at Roxana for not giving up her life of crime. Another crime Roxana commits against herself, besides selling her body is even when she reaches her preferred status, as she is highly respected through Europe her crime is being not able give up her life of vice even when she is living comfortably. In comparing how crime is presented it is worthwhile considering how both the stories end. It is ironic despite the fact that Moll committed a lot of crimes she still has a happy ending. It is almost as if that if she didn't commit those crimes she wouldn't have not gone to prison in Virginia, which again is ironic as her mother was also sentenced to death for theft, but she lucky leave the prison with her new lover. It gives the impression that an at times crime does pay. Whereas in Roxana she pays dearly for her life of crime, she falls into heavy sickness and dies. Defoe may have did this to express his personal feelings that those who do not have any reason to indulge in crime should stay away from crime, it could be argued that Roxana necessarily didn't have to indulge in crime as she was highly educated and could have gained wealth in any other way. The overall appeal of both of these novels to modern day audience is the suspense, intrigue and tension that are built when the reader asks them self 'will they be caught'. Concluding to this Roxana is a woman fatally torn between the dull virtue of middle-class respectability and the evil attractions of the beckoning city lights. Moll Flanders is woman who is strong in determination and saw crime as her only option to live well as many other women.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. My hypothesis is 'peoples fears of crime is not justified' I plan to find ...

    It will give people more freedom to do things that they want that they wouldn't previously have done. It will help to show what needs to be done to create a safer environment. Question 10: This will see how people are informed and how accurately.

  2. The continuing problem of knife crime and the gangsta lifestyle on the streets of ...

    I have witnessed first hand what drives many teenage boys in particular to a life of gangs, crime, and unemployment, and have managed to develop my own theories. In my experience, many of these boys take to life on the streets purely through boredom.

  1. Outline and asses the different ways of measuring crime

    For example, feminists would argue not a single case of marital rape has ever appeared as a crime statistic, is that to say it does not happen or that no one is ever convicted? Criminal activity could also be misrepresented in official statistics due to the need to report crimes to get a reference number for insurance purposes.

  2. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    ripper managed to commit these horrific acts and get away with the types of crimes perpetrated.

  1. How Crime is Detected and Prevented

    If the suspected compounds would break down at these operating temperatures, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or infrared spectroscopy is used instead. Thin-layer chromatography is also used in some instances. FIBRES: If a body tissue sample (or anything of that sort)

  2. What arguments have been put forward to explain the relatively low crime rates of ...

    Switzerland also demonstrates norms and values that result in strong communities and relationships, and a shared sense of identity, similar values and relationships of trust. By devoting power and resources to members of the community, responsibility is allocated to the community as well as the police, in order to promote

  1. how woman are seen to be oppressed controlled by men

    A belief grew that woman belong in their homes. Men tend to be the controller of the family. Woman always put themselves second place to men. They work under the control of men, due to men being stronger, bigger, and more aggressive.

  2. To what extent are writers also detectives in the novels you have studied?

    In the first story of the novel, City of Glass, no crime takes place. The central character, I will for now call Quinn (this term as I will later explain is also problematic), accepts a surveillance job, which only becomes a mystery when his employers, Virginia and the young Peter Stillman disappear.

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.