William makepeace thackeray vanity fair a novel without a hero
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace ThackerayHere I am, 54 years old, and for the very first time reading William Makepeace Thackerays Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero. I disagree with Thackeray. The Hero of Vanity Fair is the steadfast and stalwart William Dobbin; of that there is no doubt. This novel is not the coming of age, or bildungsroman, of Becky Sharp. No, Miss Rebecca Sharp sprang from the womb enlivened with her desire to claw her way to the top. She cant help it, and nor should she; is she really any different than any of us? No, shes not. It is her methods that vary from what you and I might use; or do they?
To me, the narrators voice in the novel was most amazing. It seemed that at every opportune moment, the narrator took a step back and informed us, the reader, of some nugget, some little moral, that placed the actions of the participants in the Fair in context. Vanity Fair is with us, all around us; and many times we never fully understand the roles that the players play. This voice of reason grounds us; makes us understand the joy, the pain, the happiness, and the sorrow that accompanies each of us in our journey through life. If we care to, we can learn to become better parents, better husbands, better wives, and better friends.
I also learned through the course of the novel that I cant outright condemn Becky Sharp. Becky is perhaps not a woman easily liked, but she is an admirable woman, a tough woman, and a woman I can respect. Strong-minded and willed, a terrible mother, but a battle-axe to those who take her head-on. Miss Becky Sharp -- Mrs. Rawdon Crawley -- is committed to living life at its fullest, and not one jot less. She is a woman of purpose, and that is a rare quality in many people.
The novel drips with satire from page to page; it is full of wit and sardonic humor. It is through the use of satire that we realize that the characters at the Fair are us -- have been us, and always will be us -- generation after generation, and nothing will change; only the time will change. There will always be Lord Steynes, Jos Sedleys, Old Osbornes, Mother Sedleys, Sir Pitt Crawleys, Miss Crawleys, the George Osbornes, William Dobbins, and Amelias. Our task, according to Thackeray, is to figure out how best to treat them, how best to interact and understand them, how to live with them. The real challenge, however, is how best to love, appreciate, and care for the Miss Becky Sharps in our lives. We do deserve to know her, to care for her, to appreciate her for whom she is, and she deserves to be brought in from the rambunctiousness and vagaries of the Fair.
In the end, it is Miss Sharp that gains at least some measure of redemption. It is she, and she alone, that removes the mote from Amelias eyes regarding her feelings for William Dobbin. For Becky Sharp does understand honor, virtue, and integrity (or, does she?). Thackeray finishes appropriately -- For truly it can be said, Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied? -- Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.
A magnificent novel from start to finish.
VANITY FAIR: William Makepeace Thackeray - FULL AudioBook: Part 2/4
Vanity Fair Reader’s Guide
Vanity Fair jumps out of this list as a great Victorian novel, written and published deep in the middle of a great age of English fiction. One hundred years after the publication of Clarissa no 4 in this series , Thackeray not only revels in the possibilities of the genre, he even illustrated his own work with some decidedly inferior woodcuts. Vanity Fair was published in serial form including some memorable cliff-hangers, for instance Becky Sharp's revelation of her marriage to Rawdon Crawley from January to June Thackeray, on top form, cheerfully exploited an ebullient tradition, transcending all his previous efforts as a writer, novels such as The Luck of Barry Lyndon Early drafts of the book, which had the working title "a novel without a hero" lacked the all-important figure of William Dobbin, a thoroughly good and likable character who owes much to Thackeray himself.
Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire?
Vanity Fair , novel of early 19th-century English society by William Makepeace Thackeray , published serially in monthly installments from to and in book form in The book is a densely populated multilayered panorama of manners and human frailties; subtitled A Novel Without a Hero , Vanity Fair metaphorically represents the human condition. The novel deals mainly with the interwoven fortunes of two women, the wellborn, passive Amelia Sedley and the ambitious, essentially amoral Becky Sharp , the latter perhaps the most memorable character Thackeray created. Amelia marries George Osborne , but George, just before he is killed at the Battle of Waterloo , is ready to desert his young wife for Becky, who has fought her way up through society to marriage with Rawdon Crawley, a young officer from an aristocratic family. Crawley, disillusioned, finally leaves Becky, and in the end virtue apparently triumphs when Amelia marries her lifelong admirer, Captain William Dobbin, and Becky settles down to genteel living and charitable works. The novel inspired a number of film and television adaptations , including a Hindi version, Bahurupi Bazar Indian film director Mira Nair directed another version in
It was first published as a volume monthly serial from to , carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society , reflecting both its satirisation of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero , reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. The story is framed as a puppet play , and the narrator, despite being an authorial voice , is somewhat unreliable. The serial was a popular and critical success; the novel is now considered a classic and has inspired several audio, film, and television adaptations. In , Vanity Fair was listed at No.