Defoe Roxana Analysis

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Maddox, James H. “On Defoe's Roxana.” vol. 51, no. 4, 1984, pp. 669–691 Looking at the framework of Defoe’s previous novels, Maddox demonstrates how although Roxana follows a similar pattern of other characters, her outcome is drastically different. In former novels, when faced with a moment of devastation, the character divided from their previous self, and in turn gained control. From there, the character is faced with yet another unfavorable situation, but this time they are able to overcome it in their new powerful state. On the contrary, Roxana divided from her previous self, but still faced destruction and tragedy in the end. Maddox also examines closely the relationship between Roxana and Amy, and how their characters follow this…show more content…
However, after the appearance of Susan, Roxana becomes increasingly more secretive and closed off from her audience. Molesworth makes the argument that since the abandonment of her first husband, Roxana is unable to trust anyone. As a result of this, all of her relationships will ultimately fail whether it be with potential lovers, her children, longtime friend, and even the audience. Molesworth also shows how Roxana’s detachment goes as far as to reduce her children to genderless and nameless individuals, referring to them as simply “it.” Snow, Malinda. “Arguments to the Self in Defoe's Roxana.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 34, no. 3, 1994, pp. 523–536. Snow indicates within her argument that Roxana is one of Defoe’s darkest novels, by means that his character is unable to go through the transformation from sinful to righteous. Rather, the line between her past and present self has never been crossed. Along with this concept, Snow illustrate how Roxana is a peculiar character since she debates with herself about what she should do next, and predicts possible outcomes of the path she will take. In this manner, Roxana is incredibly “self-aware” and is able to reason with her actions in a way that is uncommon for individuals at the time. This realization of the self that she possesses is attributed to the way that she both justifies her actions, and denies herself the right to be saved. Westfall,

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