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playing period 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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Imagination in Keats

Imagination in Keats

John Keats was writing in an era of romanticism where imagination, freedom, and innovation were becoming present in the writers of this time period. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a renowned poem written by Keats during the romantic era. If a person were to read any of Keats poems, one would realize that a newly emergent style is present in all of his works. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" exhibits signs of imagination through the work with the ideas it speaks about. Since imagination is the highest ideal and the most important thing in the world, Keats brings this idea to life with the descriptions of music, love, and youth. He wants the reader to imagine a world through the urn and not to see what would be present if the urn could act out the apparent scenes it portrays.
Keats writes about seeing a man playing the pipes and how sweet the music is. The urn has placed a frozen image in time of people playing music and he writes about how the music is sweeter unheard. "For ever piping songs for ever new." To the speaker, the unheard song is forever new and wishes for the music not to play to the sensual ear for fear of damaging the thoughts of sweet music in his head. He is afraid that the beauty the urn exhibits will tell a greater tale then the image he sees. The speaker must believe that the imagination is the greatest thing because he wishes not to hear any of the music. He would rather look to the urn and see a man pictured smiling and staying on key then having the real thing present and playing.
The piping music is the ideal form of music when viewed from the urn. Since the urn has pictures frozen in time, one can see the pipe players always pictured the same way. This idea can make the observer hear the unheard music in his head and create a new song in his mind. Keats wanted to show the whole realm of imagination and he does this by explaining the sweet music and the pictures it portrays. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" shows full imagination because it deals with the observer's imagination toward the urn. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter" The point that Keats wanted to get across is that many people could look at the same urn and have a mental picture in their mind and by using their imagination create thoughts that are pleasurable to them.  
The urn also includes pictures of love. Keats explains how "two bold lovers never kiss," and how much more pleasurable that picture is then seeing them kiss. He realizes that love has two sides to it and he sees the side of anticipation. "More happy love, more happy, happy love." Since the act is never completed, he does not know the whole story. The loves could end in not kissing or fading away as some love does and Keats wishes not to see this. To Keats, the love can forever be anticipated which is sometime better then having the love. No bitter words of hate or ideas of acceptance are seen when viewing the urn because it does not portray the end result. The urn lets the viewer use their imagination to see the beauty of love and what it can be.
Keats would rather imagine the best love be anticipated then see bitter love emerge. The picture on the urn remains sweet through time and embodies what everlasting love should be. "Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss, though winning near the goal- yet, do not grieve." He wants to imagine a love where the lovers can not fade and they will be fair forever. When the speaker looks at the urn, they realize these traits. Keats would rather see an image of love that can be the best love of all and never see the worst that could occur if the image was completed and real. Since bitterness can occur with love, one would like to imagine a love that is everlasting and sweet. Most ideals of perfect ... more

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