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By comparison with the central figure, the secondary actors - for example, the various husbands in Moll Flanders, Mouchat in Colonel Jack, Fielding in Memoirs of a Cavalier or the Dutch merchant in Roxana - are shadowy figures, lacking in depth. They are what E. M. Forster would have termed 'flat' characters: types or caricatures rather than living human beings. Moreover, Defoe's heroes and heroines, partly because of the first-person method of narration he invariably adopts, tend to view the exterior world and the other characters solely from their own point of view.

As his career progressed he became more and more fascinated by the possibilities inherent in the novel form and in particular by the fluidity of the first-person narrator. He came to see that the novel could depict not only outward actions but innermost thoughts. He well knew that human behaviour is often a mass of contradictions, that people often behave in an irrational manner, and that warring 34 A Defoe Companion motives can complete for attention within the same individual. Witness Moll and Roxana who are frequently torn between unselfish and ignoble motives, or Colonel Jack who is a far more ambivalent character than Singleton or the Cavalier.

Full title: Memoirs of a Cavalier, or a Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England, From the year 1632 to the year 1648. A fictionalised history compiled by Defoe largely from published sources, describing the military adventures of a Colonel Andrew Newport during the Thirty Years War in Germany and the English Civil War. MEMOIRS OF A CAVALIER First published 27 January 1722. Full title: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. The fictional autobiography of a thief and woman of fortune who, after a long criminal career, repents of her past misdeeds and finds contentment and prosperity in marriage.

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