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Criticism of Moll Flanders How should readers translate the seeming contradictory personality that Daniel Defoe gifts in Moll Flanders? Is her penitence a structure of irony? While the question of irony has been prominent in the previous criticism of the 1950s and 1960s, most scholars have moved out of that query, acknowledging the occurrence of various sorts of irony and supporting the genuine reformation of Moll. Critics are now articulating other complex and subtle authorial strategies in Moll Flanders apart from the use of irony, crediting Defoe with more of what it takes to be a "father of the publication." Newer critical methodologies involving course and sex are also playing a role in creating Defoe as advocate of social influence. Unfortunately, critics dealing with Moll Flanders lack as yet a truly authoritative text from which to do the job. The very best one can do is to remain with texts founded on the initial 1722 version. Texts taken from later variants, the third and second and later, may be abridged, and scholars have persuasively argued that such editions do not signify Defoe's intentions or revisions. Despite the short-comings in textual scholarship on the novel, recent decades have seen no dearth of literary criticism. Defoe as advanced programmer of narrative technique from the publication is a significant subject of conversation in groups that are critical. No longer are we hearing complaints regarding artificially linked, episodic writing and plot inconsistencies. Ian Watt notes a "lack of co-ordination between the different facets of [Defoe's] story purpose" (118) at "Moll FlandersвЂў, and denying that a consistent and conscious employment of irony, but he also praises Defoe for.