By Daniel Defoe
Born in Newgate legal and deserted six months later, Moll's force to discover and carry directly to a safe position in society propels her via incest, adultery, bigamy, prostitution and a ingenious profession as a thief ('the maximum Artist of my time') ahead of she is apprehended and back to Newgate.
If Moll Flanders is on one point a Puritan's story of sin and repentance, via self-made, self-reliant Moll its wealthy subtext conveys all of the paradoxes and amoralities of the fight for estate and tool in Defoe's newly individualistic society.
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Throughout its execution, it has had complete possession of me; I have so far verified what is done and suffered in these pages, as that I have certainly done and suffered it all myself. Whenever any reference (however slight) is made here to the condition of the French people before or during the Revolution, it is truly made, on the faith of trustworthy witnesses. It has been one of my hopes to add something to the popular and picturesque means of understanding that terrible time, though no one can hope to add anything to the philosophy of Mr.
We can appreciate the power of nightmare, whatever its political bias, as Dickens streaks his pages with the revolution’s blood. And we can laugh with him—he cannot help finding the monstrous or wonderful or ludicrous within the everyday—as Jeremiah and Jerry Junior engage in their own grotesque version of resurrection. In fact, I think it likely that a serious hope for resurrection, or spiritual revival, for change, may lie behind the writing of A Tale of Two Cities. I think it possible that, several years earlier, Dickens’ despair about such transformation may have been signaled when he resorted to the false—the acted—heroic self-sacrifice to which he could not resist being attracted: when he makes believe in Wilkie Collins’ play, before an audience including the woman he would have given his life to possess, on a stage in his house, that he dies in order that others might live.
Lorry flattened his flaxen wig upon his head with both hands (which was most unnecessary, for nothing could be flatter than its shining surface was before), and resumed his former attitude. “So far, miss (as you have remarked), this is the story of your regretted father. Now comes the difference. If your father had not died when he did—Don’t be frightened! ” She did, indeed, start. And she caught his wrist with both her hands. “Pray,” said Mr. Lorry, in a soothing tone, bringing his left hand from the back of the chair to lay it on the supplicatory fingers that clasped him in so violent a tremble: “pray control your agitation—a matter of business.