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Uh Oh. There was a problem with your submission. Please try again later. Denying children the natural maternal care and affection is murdering them, she argues in a rather lengthy and moralizing speech, which is, however, ironically subverted a few lines below. Do you think there are not Women, who as it is their Trade, and they get Bread by it, value themselves upon their being as careful of Children as their own Mothers can be, and understand it rather better?

Moll Flanders , Lois A. Chaber contends, exposes the paradoxical position of mothers in the new capitalist economy, which renders childbirth and maternity the only form of labour that not only remains unpaid, but also encumbers labourers with the additional load of having to provide for the product of their labour their offspring or pay for their disposal.

In times antecedent to this, however, the hypotheses of embryogenesis as well as the exact part offered by the male and the female parent, were multiple and conflicting. In a similar manner, the scientific discourses, which throughout these centuries refuted the Aristotelian-Galenic tradition, also conflated women with matter and men with the spark of life and celebrated the male as the primary progenitor.

In the preformationist model of generation, human beings are always already there, formed beforehand, either in the egg, according to the ovist preformationist version, or in the sperm, according to the animalculist preformationist variation.

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Growth in this case is perceived as an increase in size of a creature whose limbs and organs have always been there in the egg, or the sperm , only in miniature form. Futhermore, the mother is reduced to the material space that receives this male igniting force, without, however, being in any way connected to the fetus that grows inside her.

This theory was first proposed by William Harvey in his De Generatione Animalium in , but it was not until the end of the eighteenth century that it found fruitful ground for reception. Seventeenth-century anatomical engravings of the free-floating, fully shaped embryos in vase-like uteruses, as well as the absence of the umbilical cord, exalt fetal autonomy and reduce the womb to a mere claustrophobic container.

The womb, cut off from the female body, is a prison-like jar in which adult-like fetuses have been captivated and are desperately trying to break free. Nature and science promoted the image of mother as the necessary evil in the process of gestation. As a child disposed of in a hostile and competitive world, Moll struggles to gain self-sufficiency; like her mother, she forsakes her own children on her way to financial success, is actually imprisoned in Newgate, and is later on in her life also transported to the colonies, a place that proves to be in her case as well a site of infinite capabilities and endless profit.

Mothers and daughters cannot coexist harmoniously in the same world, but prosper only if their lives can run separate and parallel courses. Moll has to part from her mother after her birth, she has to part from her when they reunite in America and she recognizes her as her mother, and when she returns to America, her mother is already conveniently dead. In feminist theory, this new perception of the maternal order complicates the subjective framework of pregnancy and allows for new forms of subjectivity that challenge stereotypical definitions of Alterity.

Children and mothers are in this novel also highly competitive individuals who, in case of emergency, are most likely to feed on each other. Roxana wishes to sell the jewels in the case the jeweler had left her the day he died, and the Dutch merchant arranges for them to be appraised by a Jew. The Jew recognized the jewels as being the ones which had been allegedly stolen from an English jeweler many years prior. The Jew demands that she should be brought to the police, for she was surely the thief, and plots to keep the jewels for himself.

The Dutch merchant alerts Roxana of the Jew's scheme and they devise a plan to get her out of France and secure her passage to England through Holland. Roxana successfully evades the Jew and the law and ends up safely in Holland where the Dutch merchant joins her.

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The merchant courts her and manages to bed her, hoping she would then agree to marry him. Roxana makes her intentions to remain single clear, to the merchant's astonishment. Roxana ends up becoming pregnant, which makes the Merchant plead for her to marry him so that the child should not be a bastard, which she still refuses. Roxana returns to England on a ship which nearly founders in a storm, on which Amy is stricken with guilt for her sins and wicked ways, but Roxana believes there is no truth in sea storm repentance and promises, so she herself does not feel the need to repent as Amy does: but she realizes that anything Amy is guilty of, she is much more guilty of.

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Upon arriving in England Amy sets Roxana's estate up in London as Roxana returns to get the other half of her money in Holland. Roxana sets herself up in Pall Mall, invests her money, and becomes a great hostess in England where she becomes famous for her parties and the Turkish dress she wears and the Turkish dance the slave taught her. This exotic display earns her the name of Roxana prior to this moment, Roxana is never named, we only know she is called Roxana through this incident, but that her true name is Susan, according to a comment she makes later about her daughter.

She quickly gains a lot of attention, and a three-year gap is announced, and implies she even became mistress to the King, who saw her at one of her parties.

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Following this she becomes an old man's mistress, which she becomes quickly sick of. Her reputation as a mistress and a whore tires her, and she wishes to lead a more simple life. Roxana moves to the outskirts of London and takes board in a Quaker woman's house, with whom she quickly becomes friends.


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This modest house allows her to become a new person and hide from those who may want to harm her. One day she comes across the Dutch merchant who had helped her return to England, and marriage is envisaged. Roxana finally relents on her wish to remain independent and they marry. Hoping to avoid the children from her first marriage should they come looking for her, she moves to Holland with the Dutch merchant where she becomes a countess to her great pleasure.

However, her new life is threatened by the reappearance of her oldest daughter, Susan which Roxana admits to be named after her, unveiling possibly her true name. Susan's motives to have her mother recognize her as her daughter are unclear.

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Nevertheless, Roxana feels threatened, and Amy proposes to murder her. The novel ends on ambiguity as to whether Amy actually kills Susan. Roxana only laments the crime that has tainted her life, strongly suggesting Susan was murdered for Roxana to retain her status and reputation. The text ends on an "unfinished" note, with Roxana living in wealth with her husband in Holland, but assuring the reader that events eventually bring her low and she repents for her actions and experiences a downturn in fortune.

The novel examines the possibility of eighteenth-century women owning their own estate despite a patriarchal society, as with Roxana's celebrated claim that "the Marriage Contract is