In particular, the play offers enhanced forms of realism and the fiction of the "individual" in the title character, Moll, to compensate for the absence of anything authentic or grounded.
While Jack Dapper tries on feathers, Laxton samples tobacco, and Moll fondles a velvet ruff, the scene establishes the play's subplot of deceptions and potential infidelities in which truth and pretense become almost indistinguishable, and the guarantees for both value and social relations become increasingly uncertain.
The seemingly terminal item in Laxton's chain of substitutions is Moll.
15) Thus, she is imagined to function in contradictory ways: for example, while Laxton imagines that purchasing Moll will shore up his masculinity and autonomy, Sir Alexander, falling right into the trap Sebastian sets for him, worries that Moll's notoriety will destroy his family's reputation.
The prologue, for example, suggests that a play about Moll Cutpurse has been long anticipated.
Paradoxically, though Moll appears more "real," she actually functions within the play as a site of projection that embodies and intensifies cultural fantasies and contradictions.
Sir Alexander's nearly hysterical explanation of his objections to his son's dotage on Moll reveals that her "bodiliness" itself is at issue:
As embodiment of impossibility and contradiction -- both "woman more than man" and "man more than woman," an unnatural creature of nature -- for which there is no name, Moll is a site of much displaced anxiety, invested with considerable power.
Although she praises the molls for not "talking" to the police, Marge does want them to talk-to her.
Edgar Hoover and the federal Division of Investigation carried out a nationwide campaign against bandit crime, gun molls were arrested, interrogated, and often publicly tried as accomplices to federal crimes.
This study focuses on molls who were members of three prominent gangs of the period: the Dillinger mob of southern Indiana; the Barrow gang (otherwise known as Bonnie and Clyde) of western Texas; and the Barker-Karpis gang of northeastern Oklahoma.
Close readings of rhetoric, language, and particular tropes (specifically those surrounding family, heterosexual partnership, and female identity) both link gun molls to larger themes in the history of women and expand our understanding of how gender ideologies shape female experience.
Thus, the appeal of molls to a "sob sister" like Marge Suskie was complicated.
In addition, federal laws passed in 1934 made aiding and abetting fugitives a crime in itself so that cultural value systems which required women to "stand by their men" were inverted in the case of the criminal woman, transforming gun molls from "loyal wives" to enemies of the state.
Thus, many of the molls who became notorious during the war on crime emphasized how much they were, despite everything, like other women.