Does Defoe's detail in Moll Flanders create verisimilitude and make it a realistic novel?

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One of the most significant characteristics of Defoe's Moll Flanders is his inclusion of perspective. Moll Flanders is herself, the narrator. She has been through a lot and she writes with tremendous perspective on how the world works and what hazards there are. She writes as an older woman who has lived her life in effort of jumping social classes. She was born in Newgate prison and after many misadventures, prison terms and failed relationships, she ends up being married relatively happily and free from prison.

Moll's perspective in all of this comes from her experiences. She has tremendous knowledge about all of society. She is a lower class citizen and criminal, but she has lived with and even married higher class men. Defoe even includes an episode in which she is conned out of her money by a con-man whom she was trying to con herself. She knows the games of all social classes and what it takes to survive in the world.

For example, in talking about relationships with men, she says:

On the contrary, the Women have ten Thousand  times the more Reason to be wary, and backward, by how much the hazard of being betray'd is the greater; and would the Ladies consider this, and act the wary Part, they would discover every Cheat that offer'd; for, in short, the Lives of very few Men now a-Days will bear a Character; and if the ladies do but make a little Enquiry, they will soon be able to distinguish the Men, and deliver themselves.

As illustrated here, Moll speaks from experience. She is one of the women that have seen the "hazard of being betray'd." Defoe's use of this perspective adds verisimilitude to the work as a whole.

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What details does Defoe include to achieve versimillitude? Do you think it makes Moll Flanders a realistic novel? Why or why not?      

Unlike the great epics or even Shakespeare's plays, this novel presents us with extended insight into the thoughts and motivations of the main character.  One of the best things about a novel is the ability of the writer to create character development, and here, Defoe presents us with several realistic situations of a common-man type character who, at least in some part, represents "real life."  There are no monsters to battle with superhuman strength.  There are no gods intervening.  There are no supernatural events to contend with. When trying to argue "verisimilitude" recall the most common of details about her life, the world she inhabits, her interactions with other characters, and you will have a lengthy list of the kind of details you are looking for.

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What details does Defoe include to achieve versimillitude? Do you think it makes Moll Flanders a realistic novel? Why or why not?      

I think focussing on the struggles and joys of Moll Flanders, who can be viewed as one of the first heroines who uses her sexuality to her own advantage, gives this great novel definite verisimilitude. Note how Moll Flanders is not a traditional heroine in any sense of the word. This novel gives a distinctly realist flavour by its focus on the seamy underside of life at the time, in which Moll dwells.

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What details does Defoe include to achieve versimillitude? Do you think it makes Moll Flanders a realistic novel? Why or why not?      

Moll Flanders is one of the earliest examples of a novel.  It is a unique book, and is told very realistically with a lot of detail.  It is a story of love and loss, but it is also a story of everyday life.  Written in prose instead of verse, and focusing on the common life of everyday people, this book helped establish the novel as a viable form of literature.  Up until this point most literature was fanciful and told of the hero and his adventures, or about nobles and kings.  Defoe changed the landscape of fiction forever with this book.

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