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Word Count: 1,423
In an age in which promiscuity free living and womens liberation were not the catch phrases they have grown to become in this modern era the title character of Daniel Defoes Moll Flanders lives a life of sexual independence that was shunned in the seventeenth century a time of straight laced ethics and closed door relationships Twelve Year a Whore five times a Wife Flanders lives an extraordinary life of survival and seduction utilizing her greatest asset---her beauty---to help her rise above her meager beginnings as a inmate of Newgate Penitentiary In order to escape her hard luck life Moll soon realizes that while she may not possess monetary wealth her stunning looks are more than enough to earn her a comfortable albeit nomadic life Throughout the novel we see a woman born into an unfortunate situation left with little more than her feminine wiles who fights preconceived notions of sexuality and the norms of a stifling society to improve her inherited station It is this sexuality and her willingness to step out from under the standards of society that allows Moll to climb the social ladder and finally at the ripe age of seventy reach its pinnacle While Flanders can be viewed as an ideal example of freedom achieved through open sexuality Eve-- in John Miltons Paradise Lost-- can arguably be seen as the polar opposite Residing in the Garden of Eden alone with only Adam and living in the embodiment of Paradise Eve unwittingly uses her sexuality to her disadvantage allowing Satan in the form of a serpent to flatter her incessantly until she is finally convinced to eat of the forbidden fruit It is also this innate sexuality that persuades Adam to succumb and disregard Gods only directive partaking in the Tree of Knowledge He is unable to resist Eves pure physical beauty that had previously eluded him instead he yearns to be intimate with her and this lust overrides all
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