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Lecture 6

ENGLISH 3G06 Lecture 6: Moll Flanders Cont' 2

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Dr.Andrew Mc Kendry

Newgate poem - At the time, it was thought that crime was rooted in language - Criminal jargon: there was a way in which criminals talked - Criminals have a faulty reason that is why they are criminals - They’re using syllogistic reasoning which has an a, b, c type structure (the three parts are major, minor and conclusion) - People in prison were drunk all the time  This causes disorder and there is no connection b/w emotion and action  There is an anxiety of boundaries - Causation of crime is false reasoning - People picked up from Newgate a criminal language and impression which causes criminality within the society - Making language pure was a way of social reform because of the anxieties surrounding the criminal language coming out of Newgate Moll Flanders Cont’ - Pg. 193-194: Moll is wrongly accused of being a thief but now she wasn’t the one who stole but she is still a criminal overall and the actual thief escapes  No possibility for justice b/c of the linguistic uncertainty  The whole process is shown as being bankrupt  Moll excuses her own criminality  The mob is giving a sensational sense to the crime  There is an impulse to give this scene a narrative logic  It is difficult to know who is the criminal and who is the victim which shows the world’s uncertainty  The desire to participate is a desire for the narrative - Pg. 215: she gets caught and she goes to prison  The question is, is she culpable?  There is a logic to the justice of people being locked up for their crimes (crime leads to punishment)  “the fatal tree” – this comes from Genesis  She was born in prison so she believes that she belongs there  “Redemption”  Freedom and economic redemption  Also, spiritual redempti
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