Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland

1447 Words Feb 25th, 2018 6 Pages
After all, when people think about morality, engage in current ways of conduct in their society, and perhaps recall the very first teachings of ‘value,’ these ideas are very frequently conventionalized in their minds. The difference between right or wrong become sites of their first understanding of morality and, in turn, attain their own significance for those who taught them those values. Beyond this association with morality and the person or society who taught them the difference between right or wrong, morality is frequently constructed along stereotype: images of ‘good’ is fixated on social acceptability, and definition of ‘good’ is a cause of conflict. This is especially true of Fanny Hill in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure and her ways of realizing female virtue as a prostitute. Cleland distinguishes female virtue through the narrator’s environment, origins and their effects, and her appreciation. His attention to her mind, insofar as what her mind accomplishes through oppressive mental experiences, contrasted with her body, which is subject to judgment by physical transgressions, represents a different way of looking at female virtue.

Fanny’s journey is conceived as a bildungsroman - a journey of a coming of age young woman that reveals the development to her destination. This idea is complicated by her place in environment — a place that is regressive and…
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