The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Leila Trabelsi, or the Moll Flanders of Tunisia!

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Leila Trabelsi, or the Moll Flanders of Tunisia!

Tunis : Tunisia | Jun 22, 2012 at 6:03 AM PDT
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part 3 kamel eltaief message benali laila tunisie

By reading exerpts of Leila Trabelsi ben Ali's book, "Ma verite" (My truth), issued yesterday, I could not restrain from recalling a classical extravagant charactar of English literature of novelist Daniel defoe's (1781) "Moll Flanders"!
"The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums."

Moll Flanders tells the story of a beautiful, smart, and self-interested woman who strives to escape the poverty and servitude dictated by the lowly circumstances of her birth. Despite a complete lack of material resources, Moll becomes determined at a very early age to transform herself into a “gentlewoman.” She proceeds to acquire a level of education and refinement far beyond her social station and expertly exploits her skills, as well as her physical charms, to procure a series of husbands. They both used their meticulous cunning to evolve from a poor economic status to satisfy immeasurable ambitions, that for Leila Trabelsi, went beyond the economic to the political. They share aspects of Greed, opportunism, and the skill of exploiting marriage as a way of climbing the social scale. But the most interesting and quite funny similarities between Leila Trabelsi and Moll Flanders, is their ability to tell their "truth" without showing any signs of remorse or morality issues. and even if they do, that is only a conditioned reflex of cunning and manipulation. It is really amazing to find these paralllels between Moll Flanders, a fictional heroine and Leila Trabelsi a real public figure. They both have the peculiar skill to present their immorality as heroic, almost epic adventure. Instead of showing remorse, they rather ironically excuse, mystify their actions, in an ironic, falsely sincere tone, that is either deliberate, or unconscious, emanating from twisted, peculiar personalities.
bacham is based in Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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