Meaning Of The Word


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meaning of the word 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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Narrative of the Captivity of

The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is a personal account, written by Mary Rowlandson in 1682, of what life in captivity was like.  Her narrative of her captivity by Indians became popular in both American and English literature.  Mary Rowlandson basically lost everything by an Indian attack on her town Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1675; where she is then held prisoner and spends eleven weeks with the Wampanoag Indians as they travel to safety.  What made this piece so popular in both England and America was not only because of the great narrative skill used be Mary Rowlandson, but also the intriguing personality shown by the complicated character who has a struggle in recognizing her identity.  The reoccurring idea of food and the word remove, used as metaphors throughout the narrative, could be observed to lead to Mary Rowlandsons repression of anger, depression, and realization of change throughout her journey and more so at the end of it.
The idea of food is constantly used throughout the Mary Rowlandsons narrative, because it was the only essential need that she was concerned everyday to survive.  Before the captivity, Mary Rowlandson was an innocent housewife that knew nothing of what suffering was like.  She has always had plenty of food, shelter, and clothing.  As a reader, you can see how her views towards the Indians choice of food gradually changes throughout her journey, and how it is related to the change in her own self.  After tragically losing all of her family and her home, she had to repress her feelings to move on with the Indians to survive.  She described the Wampanoag Indians at Ravenous beasts when she was captivated, which shows the anger that she felt towards the Indians at that time.  The Indians diet was really different from the whites.  Rowlandson hardly ate a thing the first week she was held captive.  She described the Indians food as filthy trash, and she could starve and die before [she] ate such things (306).  As Rowlandsons hunger began to eat her up inside out, she had to repress her spoiled taste and anger in order to survive.  During the seventh remove you can see her views of the Indians food change as she got two ears of Indian corn (307) and didnt want to give it up.  When one Indian asked her can you eat horse liver? (307), Rowlandson replied that she would try if he would give a piece (307).  As she ate it, she described the horse liver as a savory bit it was to me.  She explain to herself that for to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet (307).  You can see that Rowlandson has experienced a change in her view towards the Indians food.  She began being disgusted with their food then gradually precious it.  There were many times where Rowlandson felt like she could just lay down and die right there, but as the journey goes on she says I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord (308).  Her desire to live was encouraged through her dependence on God, which in turn helped repress her true feelings of depression because of the sufferings she was enduring.  As Rowlandsons travels goes on you could see that she has learned to accept the Indians culture.  In the eight remove she says I boiled my peas and bear together, and invited my master and mistress to dinner,(309).  That statement by Rowlandson does not seem like shes in captivity and that shes actually suffering.  She also made clothes for the Indians, which they very much appreciated.  Rowlandson realizes as she thinks to herself that throughout her time with the Indians not one of them offered the least imaginable miscarriage to me(310).    She has fit herself into the Wampanoag Indian society by suppressing her true feelings of anger and depression towards the Indians in order to survive.  During the eighteenth remove she stole a piece of horse feet from a child.  Then she claims that the things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat(318).  Rowlandson seems to be willing to do anything to ... more

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