Marriage To Survive In Daniel Defoe’S Moll Flanders. Although

1657 WordsMar 6, 20177 Pages
Marriage to Survive in Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders Although the central concerns of women during the eighteen-century was of courtship and marriage, social graces, and dignity, money was also a very important concern. “Many of the female characters in eighteenth-century novels are portrayed as intensely aware of finances and markedly interested in the getting and keeping of money” (Scheuermann, 311). Daniel Defoe’s fictional heroine, Moll Flanders is always thinking in economic terms and looking for financial stability. She must base her “romantic” relationships on money, rather than mutual affection. Marriage, for Moll, is a way to survive. This suggests that women could not be self-sufficient in England’s eighteenth-century…show more content…
The first time that he gave her five guineas, she admitted, "I was more confounded with the Money than I was before with the Love, and began to be so elevated, that I scarce knew that ground that I stood on" (62). When he eventually gave her one hundred guineas, she “made no more Resistance to him, but let him do just what he pleas’d; and as often as he pleas’d” (24). She did not think of the money as a bribe to keep her quiet, but more as evidence of that the young man truly loved her. She does not realize that he only sees her as a sexual escapade. In eighteenth-century England, everyone was incredibly conscious of their social positions. Consequently, the rich rarely married the poor (Heyck, 47-64). Thus, when the younger brother (Robin) told everyone that he was in love with Moll, his family, and even Moll, thought that he was insane. She had nothing; no social status or dowry. He proposed and Moll accepted because she finally understood that the man that she loved truly did not want to marry her. Defoe, who, in “Conjugal Lewdness” writes, “to marry one Woman and love another, to marry one Man and be in love with a Kind of civil, legal Adultery, nay, it makes the Man or Woman be committing adultery in their Hearts every Day of their lives; and it may be well called a Matrimonial Whoredom” (181). Throughout her marriage to Robin, Moll said (about his eldest brother) “I committed Adultery and Incest with him every Day in my

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