Realism and Credibility in Moll Flanders and Oroonoko
In the Dictionary of Literary Terms, Harry Shaw states, "In effective narrative literature, fictional persons, through characterization, become so credible that they exist for the reader as real people." Looking at Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko the reader will find it difficult to make this definition conform to Moll and Behn's narrator. This doesn't mean that Defoe's and Behn's work is 'ineffective', but there
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showed last 75 words of 1930 total
author. It is rather the insufficiency of formal or moral patterns which lessen her credibility.
Both authors have in common that they claim the truth of their narratives and both narrators have weak points in credibility. Yet the first-person narrative is susceptible to imperfection because it is a new creation. Fielding and Richardson will be more
skillful in the presentation of their narrators but they owe their dexterity to the innovations of Behn and Defoe.