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Irony Moll Flanders
I love but hate, I laugh without a smile, I am ridiculous and respected, hypocrite and honest, a nonsense with reason , a convict and a gentleman. Isn't that the world we live in ? He is using a subtle form of humour by saying things that he does not mean. This situation is odd or amusing because it involves a contrast. Irony kills, laughs, denounces, argues but is hidden behind words to look not so politically incorrect. Daniel Defoe was one of those who wanted to denounce society's incongruities. He used his character, Moll Flanders, as an archetype of 18th century England society depicting the cruelty and the immorality of the time. In this autobiography (the novel is written in the first person) Moll's life seems to be fill of contrasts and ironic situations, but is that not interpretation? This essay will discuss the irony in the novel Moll Flanders taking examples from the book to prove whether or not it should be considered as a ironic novel. Let's have a look at the interpretations that one may have.
As a preliminary, it must be noted that Moll has a basically bipartie structure, the first part containing Moll's sexual adventures, the second her life as a thief, her imprisonment, and her transportation to America. The difference here, however, is that Defoe has effected an organic rather than a merely schematic relationship between the two halves. The episode of the two brothers, an episode which is crucial to our understanding of the novel's irony. Moll is seduced by the elder brother of the family in which she is a maid, then is persuaded by him to marry Robin, the younger brother, who loves her and proposed to her. She is a bewildered, passive object in the centre of the family dispute: her position is no sooner established as the elder's brother mistress, than he suggests that she should accept Robin's offer of marriage, thus becoming his sister where formerly she was his whore later affirming: " I shall always be your sincere friend, without any inclination to nearer intimacy, when you become my sister" . He presses her hard, and the traumatic effect the affair has on Moll is symbolized in her near-fatal illness. Not surprisingly, after her marriage she succumbs to incestuous fantasies:" I was never in bed with my husband but I wished myself in the arms of his brother; ... I committed adultery and incest with him every day in my desires, which, without doubt, was as effectually criminal in the nature of the guilt as if I had actually done it" . Robin dies after five years, and there is an interval consisting of two main episodes, in one of which Moll marries a gentleman-tradesman who, faced with financial ruin, leaves her "a widow bewitched; I had an husband and no husband" ; and in the second of which Moll helps a young lady avenge herself on a captain who regarded her as too easy a conquest.
The notion of revenge on the male, and the fact that it is Moll who is taking the initiative, and not members of the opposite sex, are indicative of a radical change of character. It is indeed ironic, then, that by making the initiative Moll should soon land herself in a situation which strongly resembles her earlier one with the two brothers: she now courts and marries her own brother.
She discovers the truth only when she is on her husband's plantation in Virginia and his mother narrates her life story. As she listen to it, Moll gradually gathers " that this was certainly no more or less than my own mother, and I had now had two children, and was big with another by my own brother", following this with declaration which echoes the one quoted above from page 68 "I lived therefore in open avowed incest and whoredom, and all under the appearance of an honest wife; and though I was not much touched with the crime of it, yet the action had something in it shocking to nature, and made my husband, as he thought himself, even nauseous to me." At first she conceals the ... more
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Julius ceaser 2
I believed in what Brutus had to say during his speech, and I was pro-Brutus because of his honorable title. However, I am now pro-Caesar and pro-Antony. I truly believe in what Antony has to say, because unlike Brutus, he has reasons and explications for why things were done. He does not simply state an opinion as Brutus did. He supports his opinion with facts, so that they are no longer opinions but facts. Brutus said that he killed Caesar for the good of Rome, but he never told us the harm that Caesar caused. I compare it with Antony's speech, and wonder how could I have seen the death of Caesar as a proper action.
Antony says that he will read the will, if we make a ring around Caesar's corpse. He shows us Caesar's bloodstained toga, with a tear. He shows us the rip, and says, "See what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd." When Antony showed us visual evidence of the bloody treason, and when he said the words "beloved" and "Brutus" together I sought revenge. I am furious, and detest Brutus. I hit myself on the head, for respecting him, and thinking of him as an honorable man. How foolish I had been! Tears come to my eyes, as I see the dead corpse of the most exquisite man that had ever existed.
It was after all of this, that the crowd of Roman citizens is truly enraged. We chant: "...Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!". I am not going to let any of the conspirators get away. They killed the best thing that had ever happened to Rome, and for that they deserve to suffer! Antony says that were he an able speaker, he would move "The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny." I am not a highly educated man, but nor I am totally ignorant. I see what Antony is tying to tell us. I supported Brutus during his speech, but I am truly astounded with Antony's speech. Never have I seen a man with more moral, integrity and honor than he. I will hear him, follow him, and die with him. He makes me see the righteousness of the death, or the lack of it. The men who murdered him, in no way deserve the offering of the crown. The only thing that they merit is death. The crowd and I decide to burn the conspirator's houses. Antony has fueled us with anger and we seek revenge! We set off to find the conspirators.
Antony calls us back to read us the will. He tells us that Ceasar has left each of us seventy-five drachmas, and that he has given public use for all of his famous gardens across the Tiber in his will. If Brutus were here, beside me, right now I would burn his body. I would not simply stab him, as he had to Caesar, for he would suffer for only a few seconds. I want to burn him, so that his death is slow and intensely painful. He told us that Caesar was to treat us as inferiors, as slaves. He lied to us, telling us that Caesar wished to harm us. Our loving Caesar had always cared for us, and thought of us as family. I think that before learning about the will, I was going to act violently based on a powerful shared emotion. I was wrathful, but much of it was because everyone else was as well. However, now that I am aware of how truly noble of a man Caesar was, I am beyond angry. We decide to burn Caesar's body in the holy place, "And with the brands fire the traitor's houses." Our crowd has now become a mob, and we are off to burn the houses of the conspirators. I will not rest until the malicious men who killed him suffer. I wish for Ate to come by Caesar's side, to come from hell, and cry "Havoc!". I vow not to be content until I put the lives of these terrible men to an end. ... more
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