Daniel Defoe was
born as the son of James Foe, a butcher of Stroke
Newington, whose strict Puritanism occasionally comes
out in Defoe's own writing....Although his Nonconformist
father wanted Daniel for the ministry, Defoe decidedly
plunged into politics and trade, traveling extensively
in Europe. Indeed, Defoe was a man who had ideas of his
own and who wanted, perhaps very much like his character
Moll Flanders, to become a success.
Aside from his openly
political works, Daniel Defoe is known as one of the
first authors to write stories about believable
characters in realistic situations using simple prose.
He achieved literary immortality when he published
Robinson Crusoe in 1719, which was based in part on the
memoirs of true voyagers and castaways.
But it was actually
during his later life that Defoe seemed to focus on
novels rather than on political pamphlets. At the age of
62 he published Moll Flanders, a Journal of the Plague
Year, and Colonel Jack....The author's choice of a
female protagonist in Moll Flanders demonstrated his
interest in the female experience which seems to closely
resemble the struggles encountered by many people,
including his own self.
In close, Daniel Defoe
was a man who looked at his culture and the political
society around him...and saw many errors. He was a man
who had experienced financial struggles and social
struggles throughout his life. He wrote numerous
political statements and argued for many different
changes. And, when he altered his perspective, and began
writing fiction, he clearly put a lot of his opinions
and perspectives concerning the society within the
characters, and the experiences of the characters. Much
like his character Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe himself
had experienced incredible poverty during the course of
his lifetime. He had dealt with the same social and
economic classes experienced by Moll, and he was not
altogether content with those realities. These dealings
now live forever in the pages of his writing...