Aphra Ben's Oroonoko and Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders

1562 Words Jan 26th, 2018 6 Pages
Many eighteenth century British novelists neglected to earn this credibility. Looking specifically at Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko and Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Shaw’s definition becomes especially difficult to apply to Moll and Oroonoko’s narrator. While the novels should not be declared unsuccessful in their entireties, perhaps the sincerity claimed in both introductions only lessens their overall believability.
In the opening lines of his preface, Defoe tells us, “the Author is here suppos’d to be writing her own History” (1). Behn makes a similar claim in his novel: “I was myself an eyewitness to a great part, of what you will find here set down, and what I could not be witness of, I received from the mouth of the chief actor in this history, the hero himself” (75). And soon the authors’ claims prove themselves to be untrue with a sizeable lack of reality in their characterization. Perhaps we cannot blame the authors themselves, but rather their time. Serving as the inventors of the realist novel, eighteenth century writers like Aphra Behn and Daniel Defoe were without a foundation to follow and with the development of characters that are perhaps too unique, situations idealized, and blatant claims of truthfulness, thus fail to convince the…
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