Moll Flanders: the most boring classic I have ever read

thank you to for the pict
With such limited budget plus jobless status, what better things could I do once I came across an array of wonderful books than buying affordable but with supposedly-thought good qualified novel?

My mind switched to classic books, who many have said as timeless valuable works of art. Then I chose Moll Flanders due to its cheap price and eye-turning synopsis on the cover of the book. In addition, I read (just a glance of) Daniel Defoe’s most beloved Robinson Crusoe. So, I thought Moll Flanders would be a nice second choice from the author.

Indeed, I spent just two weeks if I’m not mistaken to digest the book. Not because I felt in love with it, but because I desperately wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. The reason is the book is so damn boring despite its breathtaking theme. Such a breakthrough that makes Defoe does not even reveal the true name of the main character. Only some nicknames or alias that he prefers to use.

The whole story is about a woman who was born inside a prison called Newgate. Hundreds of pages observe how this woman lives her life from childhood to womanhood. The name of this major character changes throughout the novel, from Betty to Moll Flanders. Betty was unlucky at the beginning that she was forced to leave the prison and was taken care by a generous woman in a children working house. Her beauty and ladylike manner captured attention from upscale people who later taught her to sew and manner lessons. Betty then worked at a house where she had affairs with two sons within the house. She ended up marrying the second brother despite her huge love toward the first one. On and on, Betty, whom I don’t know if that is her real name, ventured upon her love relationship with many men. She would do anything to avoid poverty. She even worked as a prostitute and married some men. Worst thing occured when she accidentally became a wife of a nice guy who happened to be her brother. She found this fact when she was in Virginia where she also met with her long-lost mother there. She returned to UK after finding the marriage overwhelmed her. Then, she dwelt again with on-off marriages and gave birth to some more children.

Being a widow and unemployed, she eventually turned out to be a thief. She continously did michevious act even if she felt herself more than fulfilled to make ends meet. She even gou supports from her landlord who later introduced her to some gangs of thieves. Luck fell upon her most of the times. Some of her partners in crime had their lives spent in Newgate. Others were sentenced to death. But she always escape from those punishment. Till one day, she entered the prison under stealing charges.

Initially, she must face a death penalthy but she got lighter punishment. She was sent to the United States as identured servants. She was not alone. Her husband who left her in a search of better lives but ended up being a criminal accompanied her, too. They then departed for Virginia where she annulled her mistake by visiting her son whom she abandoned after she discovered her incest marriage.

She and her husband eventually returned to England and lived happily ever after after completing their service in the US.

I was tempted by the grand idea of the story; the journey of a woman against poverty and the like. Also, I’d love to read a story about a bad person who does everything to gain a social status. Taboo issues, such as adultery and prostitution, are bravely put forward.

Unfortunately, I dislike Defoe’s writing style. He applies first person with lacks of metaphore and detailed descriptions.

Good thing is he mentions a lot of towns and this somehow serves as a good tour guide to England’s ancient era.

So, that’s it. I spend the last dozens of pages by just scanning it. Never bothered myself to really enjoy per word. That kind of torturing? I sadly must say, yes.


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