Sunday, October 13, 2019

Moll Flanders :: Moll Flanders Essays

George Eliot wrote, "It is never too late to be who you might have been." As I read those words, I was hard pressed to find another who fit them as well as Moll Flanders. Despite circumstance and luck and odds set against her at every turn, this woman refused to bow to the conventional wisdom that normally rules the downtrodden and the dispossessed. And it is in that tenacity of spirit I find Eliot's words ringing true. Moll Flanders born into a world of pad-locked doors and dark menacing corners was destined for greatness simply because she lived it. The story begins as a tale told to an orphan recovered and claimed by Hibble, a man of mystery, dark and wise. The orphan, Flora, has been retrieved by Hibble and is on a journey to America to meet a fate she does not understand. Along the way, Hibble has been instructed to read to her the diary of her mother, Moll Flanders. It is an introduction to a woman who’s soul does not come across well on the written page, but Hibble struggles along, trying to entice the young girl with the memory of an extraordinary friend and confidante. Threats and lectures begin a journey that soon intrigues the young woman on its own merit. Her mother, it would seem, was more than she ever dreamed. And it is in those pages that we find a hero of our own. Moll Flanders, born to a convicted thief, was orphaned the day she was born as the state carried out the sentence of death put upon her mother. Moll landed at the foot of the Church, learning how to read, to pray and to fend off hypocrisy and the groping hand of the priest in the bargain. Leaving the Church in an unorthodox manner, Moll bounced from home to home, finding herself too much for some and too little to ward off others. Along the way, she learned to laugh and to limp because of the kindness and cruelty that abound in our worlds. It was in the kindness that Moll found herself bound in love to an unlikely artist and it was in that union Flora was conceived.

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