In his novel Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe portrays realism through a first person narrative. In a voice that must have been shocking for that time (the novel was written in 1722), Moll Flanders tells the reader in blunt, unromanticized language about her sexual exploits:
Then he walked about the room, and taking me by the hand, I walked with him; and by and by, taking his advantage, he threw me down upon the bed, and kissed me there most violently; but, to give him his due, offered no manner of rudeness to me, only kissed a great while.
It also discusses the difficulties of being an unmarried woman:
Thus the Government of our Virtue was broken and I exchang'd the Place of Friend for that unmusical harsh-sounding Title of Whore.
It is through her narrative that the reader really gets an impression of what life in eighteenth century England and the American colonies was like, both from the side of the rich and the poor.
In the story, Moll tells the reader how she was born a in prison in England before being transported to America, where she became relatively well educated. After a series of misfortunes, Moll becomes a thief on the streets of London and ended up in prison. The story ends with Moll meeting an old flame and moving back with him to the American colonies.