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Word Count: 721
In New Hampshire I had a Philosophy teacher that used to say and I believe he was quoting another People who believe in freewill are ignorant of the reasons of their actions This quote in the context of Defoes Moll Flanders brings about a multitude of questions and discussion Was Flanders free or was she predetermined to live a wicked and improper life mired in years of penitence Was the fact that her mother a whore before her enough to dismiss the question It is in fact these questions that persuaded me to abandon my philosophy major and follow my love of literature but that is a different storyCertainly there is no question that Flanders was a criminal that is to say she was a whore a thief and furthermore broke laws that are seen as truly heinous and immoral namely incest In regards to Flanders having sex with her own brother it would be difficult to argue that this was a predetermined event considering she truly did not know her husband was of her own flesh and blood If indeed she was aware of the relation and then chose to proceed then one could discus it further in the context of freewill As for being a whore there is no question that Flanders especially later in her life involved herself with such happenings but for me it was the thievery that seemed to capture the essence of Flanders continual undoing and constant need for penitence There is no better part of Defoes work to capture the feelings of utter despondency then when Moll is going to steal for the first time from the apothecarys shop Defoe prefaces the scene with a few paragraphs where Moll explains her absolute desolate state The crime is then set in what James Sutherland explains Molls first theft he sets the scene with such careful attention to detail that he fixes it in our minds and gives to it
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