Moll Flanders

Topics: Daniel Defoe, Ethics, Morality Pages: 2 (706 words) Published: April 29, 2014
Moll Flanders
Ethics
In this passage of the novel written by Daniel Defoe, we can see some characteristics of the ethical model. The main character, Moll Flanders, passes judgment of her life with the banker. Moll’s husband is appropriately in the banking business. Moll’s banker husband is never much more than a credit statement to her and it is appropriate that he should die as the result of a broken bank balance. The loss of a sum of money is for her a “wound had sunk too deep, it was a stab that touch’d the vitals”? As usual, her grief at his death is for the loss rather of his financial support than of his love and companionship. Moll’s relationship with the banker, however, is about propriety. He is “a Quiet, Sensible, Sober Man, Virtuous, Modest, Sincere, and in his business Diligent and Just”. The banker who helps her with her finances treats her with the greatest decency, but she sees him wholly in terms of how much profit he will bring The banker, moreover, is morally scrupulous, marrying Moll only after he has legally divorced his own adulterous wife. Initially, the two live in the “utmost Tranquility” and in stark contrast to Moll’s former “Life of Pleasure”, yet this relationship too is sustained by Moll’s pursuit of her interest. Firstly we can distinguish a reference to God: “As Covernousness is the Root of all Evil” from Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”. This contrasts with the use that she made of this marriage: she only uses her husband for an economical benefit, so this is not an ethic behaviour. She needs the Devil to explain to herself as well as to us her abrupt movement from outward respectability to crime. Defoe plays with two types of morality: the Christian morality (references to the Bible, for example) and the natural morality (the man is a creature motivated by himself, connected to the...
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