Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Deborah A. Robinson,Ph. D.


First published in 1722,at the height of the Evangelical movement in Great Britain, Defoe’s novel The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous MoU Flanders gives birth to an unlikely heroinewhoseindividualist tendenciesand Mary Magdalene spirit push againstthe religious and patriarchal standardsof her time. Virginia Woolf writes that Moll “has a spirit to breastthe storm” and “she delights in the exerciseof her own powers” (Woolf 3), for sheboldly pushesagainstthe submissiveVirgin Mary persona women are forced to embrace.By doing so, Moll inspires women to find themselvesas sherises from the lower to the higher class depending entirely on her own wits and judgment. This thesisexplores Daniel Defoe’s radical beliefs toward his English society, as he uses his muse, Moll, to challenge eighteenth-century religious and gender tenets subsequentlycreating a new type of hero.