Moll Flanders | Critical Essay by Beth Swan

This literature criticism consists of approximately 25 pages of analysis & critique of Moll Flanders.
This section contains 7,207 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Beth Swan

Critical Essay by Beth Swan

SOURCE: Swan, Beth. “Moll Flanders: The Felon as Lawyer.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 11, no. 1 (October 1998): 33-48.

In the following essay, Swan places Moll's trial at Newgate into context as a didactic comment on legal reform, highlighting the role of “judicial discourse” in Moll's narrative.

Moll Flanders draws the reader into the narrative of her criminal life by way of her language. Her characteristic discourse, special pleading, is clearly appropriate to her attempts at self-vindication. But it also derives meaning from her status as convicted felon. Moll, the narrator, is also a woman with a “record,” inscribed in the annals of the Old Bailey and Newgate prison, a purely juridical text she cannot overlay with her own. Moll Flanders is Moll's personal text, a counter-text to contest the public record, an...

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This section contains 7,207 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Beth Swan
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