Moll Flanders, Madame Bovary, & the Joys of Motherhood

Topics: Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary / Pages: 7 (1713 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
Moll Flanders, Madame Bovary, & The Joys of Motherhood

Daniel Defoe 's Moll Flanders, Gustave Flaubert 's Madame Bovary, and Buchi Emecheta 's The Joys of Motherhood are three novels that portray the life of woman in many different ways. They all depict the turmoils and strife 's that women, in many cultures and time periods, suffer from. In some cases it 's the woman 's fault, in others it 's simply bad luck. In any case, all three novels succeed in their goal of showing what a life of selling oneself short is like through the eyes of a woman.

In Daniel Defoe 's Moll Flanders, a woman, Moll is simply trying to get by and is given a wonderful start because she was born in a prison. Moll Flanders leads a life full of crime and prostitution because she feels it is the only way she can survive. She becomes do dependent on theft that she steals even when she does not need any more luxuries. In Moll Flanders, the reader at times feels bad for the main character because she really has no luck when it comes to husbands or life in general. Yet at other times we resent the fact that she leaves her children and continues stealing for no reason.

Moll Flanders is somewhat ambiguous because the reader does not know whether to feel sorry for Moll 's disadvantages, or feel hatred for her irresponsibility. Moll is somewhat portrayed as ignorant, in that she does not know that what she does is wrong. E. M. Forster wrote that "A nature such as hers cannot for long distinguish between doing wrong and getting caught."

Although there are time when the reader feels bad for Moll and feels that she simply does not know better, there are times when Moll admit that she is doing wrong. However, Moll feels no sympathy for the people she steals from. Even after she stops stealing for some time, she being again without remorse. "Thus you see having committed a Crime once, is a sad Handle to the committing of it again; whereas all the Regret, and Reflections wear off when the



Cited: Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. W.W. Norton & Company, New York: 1973. Emecheta, Buchi. The Joys of Motherhood. Hinemann, Oxford: 1979. Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. W. W. Norton & Company, New York: 1965 Forster, E.M. "A novel of Character" from Aspects of the Novel. Harcourt, Brace, New York: 1927. Thibaudet, Albert. "Madame Bovary" from chapter 5 of Gustave Flaubert. Gallimard, Paris: 1935.

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