Individualism In Defoe's 'The Fortunate Mistress'

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The neoclassical time period served to reinvent the notion of how literature was presented within society, working to introduce several crucial concepts that worked to alter individual perception, such as identity, and construct new ways of thinking. One instance of this newfound individualism can be viewed in Defoe’s narrative, The Fortunate Mistress, in which a woman recounts her personal experience and transformation from a virtuous woman to a whore in response to unforeseen and unavoidable situations. Critical interpretations of the narrative have neglected to recognize the significance of how Roxana’s role in society and actions depict her as an archetype for the early feminist individual On the contrary, the majority of critics tend to make the focal point the end of the novel in order to solidify the argument that the story was abruptly left unfinished and obscure in nature. As Molesworth puts it, “a friendship that has thus far been marked by intimacy, candor, and forthrightness lapses into an unfamiliarity marked by timidity and apprehension” (Molesworth 495). The tendency to interpret the ending in such a manner has lead to the viewing of Roxana as an unsuccessful individual, who attempted to deny the norms of social behavior, and as a result of this, was unable to overcome the obstacles presented and ultimately failed. Be that as it may, when taking into consideration how Roxana utilizes perception and reflection to analyze her past experiences, using this

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