English Lit, Compromised: Sex Mixed with a Subtext

By Ray Mark Rinaldi Of The Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

English Lit, Compromised: Sex Mixed with a Subtext


Ray Mark Rinaldi Of The Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


"MOLL FLANDERS"

Rating: PG-13, adult themes. Running time: 2:03.

DANIEL DEFOE'S novel "Moll Flanders" is one of the great mixed masterpieces of English literature. Viewed through 18th-century eyes, the story is a masked feminist manifesto, a daring work that told a compelling tale while taking up the cause of a neglected class and gender.

But it is filled - some might say overloaded - with hints of those elements that steam up contemporary dime store novels: rape, abandonment, neglect, illicit love, prostitution. Publishers today would probably send it right to the paperback shelf with a drawing of Fabio on the jacket. Jaclyn Smith or some other Charlie's Angel would play the lead in the inevitable TV-movie version.

And so it is the Danielle Steel take that writer/director Pen Densham chose to make into the new film "Moll Flanders." Moll (played by Robin Wright) is an unfailing heroine who strives and thrives through a neverending series of sex-sational obstacles. The movie is not nearly as trashy as last year's "The Scarlet Letter," but it's just as far away from the dignified, novel-true "Sense and Sensibility."

In the story, Moll's troubles are foretold even before she is born. Her pregnant mother has been sentenced to death for theft, and the execution is postponed only until the child is born. Moll goes through a series of orphanages, convents and foster homes. Each act of generosity she encounters turns out to have a selfish motivation of its own.

Ruled by honor, Moll sees the hypocrisy of each establishment, rejecting them all. Selling her body is easier than selling her soul, so she becomes a prostitute in the house of Mrs. Allworthy (Stockard Channing) and befriends the madam's personal servant Hibble (Morgan Freeman).

Her challenge is to gain control of her own destiny, a nearly impossible ambition for a lower-class whore in those times.

Wright's performance as Moll will almost surely change her career. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

English Lit, Compromised: Sex Mixed with a Subtext
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.