Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

CorruptionDefoe's capitalist views and his moral purpose in Roxana. - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare
Author : lorendietrich


The rise of the novel in English is one of the most contested areas of academic investigation. It was one of the rare genres which had an indigenous birth in England, notwithstanding Cervantes's Don Quixote which is universally acknowledged as the first attempt at a novel…

Extract of sample
CorruptionDefoe's capitalist views and his moral purpose in Roxana.

Robinson Crusoe extended the form of the picaresque and turned an adventure tale into a critique of colonialism. Moll Flanders did the same with the class of 'gentlewomen'. Roxana similarly has come to be accepted as a critique of early capitalism -- a time in English history when the industrial revolution was yet not a tactile reality but a creepy creature whose tugs on morality, civility and social infrastructure were being secretly felt. Defoe takes a old world morality tale about a woman's coming to terms with her own profession as a whore and turns it into a contemporary tale about capitalism's philosophy of self-aggrandizement and saleability of the self.
In retrospect Defoe will seem prophetic in his constitution of the plot about Roxana's willing acceptance of her profession and how she readily agrees to 'capitalise' it when she knows her moral degradation is irreversible. In medieval morality plays, Roxana's good self would have been saved by a benign god who in a climactic moment would retrieve her from misery. But in Defoe's world emergent capitalism prevails over frivolling morality and what would have been a fallen life before becomes a life of opportunities for Roxana.
No wonder Roxana is called Defoe's 'darkest' novel and that explains the crowd of critical and scholarly attention that it has received. ...
Download paper

Related Essays

Moral duties
Categorical imperative requires reason to dictate the act we are morally obligated to do, one which is motivated by adherence to the consistent principle which could be applied to all and any rational agent. This deontological ethical distinguishes between the moral doctrines of right from that of virtue. Where the first is driven externally to the actor, the other is internal and concerned with ends.…
5 pages (1255 words)
Malinowskis Legacy and His Views on Theory
Malinowski's approach was holistic. The interaction of the natives was associated with magic, spirituality and kinship. He did later field work in Africa and the Oaxaca Valley in Mexico.…
17 pages (4267 words)
Moral Decisions
In the Reason, Emotion and Moral Decisions article it is said that usually people imagine that human decisions are "backed-up" by reason when in fact they are the result of emotion. For example, the author refers to the fact that oftentimes the results of death penalty that is attributed to the (inculpate) is the result of fear. This fear springs from the fact that people do not want to be hurt again by the found guilty person. Fear is obvious the expression of emotion rather than reason. Behold that in this case, the emotion which is overcome by reason leads to the decision that morally a…
4 pages (1004 words)
The plot of The Importance of Being Earnest centers around deception. Algernon is a wealth bachelor that lives in London. He often pretends to have a friend Bunbury who is sick and lives in the country. Whenever Algernon wishes to escape certain social utieshe is explains that he simply can no because he has to visit his sick friend. He can then escape and enjoy the pleasures that Victorian society called improper. However, his friend, Bunbury, does not exist. Through this form of deception Algernon not only gets pity from his friends he also has the perfect excuse to do whatever he wants.…
3 pages (753 words)
Lincolns View on Race, Slavery, & Equlity Prior to his becoming President and His views on Race, Slavery , & Equality After he became President and the Start of
For Lincoln, these moral compromises were made for political expediency and pragmatism. Lincolns views on race, slavery, and equality did not change throughout his career, but the shifting political foundations of the country dictated Lincolns position as he strove to maintain a cohesive Union of states.…
16 pages (4016 words)
Was Peter Berger right when he changed his views on secularization in the 1990s?
My paper hence deals with the idea that Peter Berger was right in changing his views on secularization.…
20 pages (5020 words)