Daniel Defoe Writing Styles in Moll Flanders

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Picaresque Novel

Moll Flanders

is considered an example of a picaresque novel. These novels usually employ a first-person narrator recounting the adventures of a scoundrel or low-class adventurer who moves from place to place and from one social environment to another in an effort to survive. The construction of these novels, like that of Moll Flanders, is typically episodic, and the hero or heroine is a cynical and amoral rascal who lives by his or her wits.

Structure

Defoe did not use chapter or section divisions to break up the work. The action moves chronologically, though, and is divided into close to one hundred different episodes. Defoe covers long periods of time with sweeping statements, as when Moll refers to her first marriage by saying, "It concerns the story in hand very little to enter into the farther particulars of the family, . . . for the five years I liv'd with...

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This section contains 591 words
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Novels for Students
Moll Flanders from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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