Finishing Moll Flanders

As we wound up our discussion of Moll Flanders on Wednesday, I was especially interested to note student’s investment in ethical questions–both those raised by Moll herself, and those raised by our reading of Moll. I briefly raised the “surprised by sin” argument, and we considered whether it could be applied to Defoe’s novel. Our first secondary source presentation opened the meeting, and I was generally happy with the results; however, the introduction from Kahn’s Narrative Transvestism could have been linked a little more fully in discussion and in presentation to the editor’s role, as well as to the negotiation between gender and narrative structure. I think this last point, however, was a bit too nuanced for students to grasp without a better foundation in theories of the early novel, so I’d like to go over formal realism again–and more explicitly–when we begin reading Pamela.

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