Moll Flanders Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

Topic #1
Discuss the critique of economic self-interest contained in Moll Flanders.

Outline
I.Thesis Statement: In Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe explores the social and psychological consequences of individual greed.

II. The role of economic motivation in Moll Flanders
A. Historical Setting
B. Social circumstances of the main character
C. Psychological motivation of the main character

III. Moll’s pursuit of wealth
A. Her first affair
B. Her adventures in marriage
C. Her life of crime

IV. Moll’s materialistic approach to moral salvation
A. Her repentance
B. Her move to America
C. Her prosperous old age

V. Conclusion: Defoe seems to suggest that material ambition can lead both to moral corruption and to spectacular financial success.

Topic #2
Explore Defoe’s approach to criminal activity in Moll Flanders.

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: In Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe provides profound insight into eighteenth–century British views of criminal behavior.

II. Historical Background
A. Defoe’s familiarity with Newgate Prison
B. Defoe’s preoccupation with ingenious criminals

III. Moll’s descent into crime
A. Moll’s criminal activities
B. Moll’s view of her own behavior
C. The psychological effects of Moll’s criminal acts

IV. The legal and penal system as depicted in Moll Flanders
A. Moll’s encounters with the law
B. Moll’s incarceration in Newgate Prison
C. Moll’s first and second...

(The entire section is 693 words.)