Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero

Vanity Fair A Novel Without A Hero A deliciously satirical attack on a money mad society Vanity Fair which first appeared in is an immensely moral novel and an immensely witty one Called in its subtitle A Novel Without a Hero

  • Title: Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero
  • Author: William Makepeace Thackeray Ron Singer
  • ISBN: 9780553214628
  • Page: 323
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • A deliciously satirical attack on a money mad society, Vanity Fair, which first appeared in 1847, is an immensely moral novel, and an immensely witty one Called in its subtitle A Novel Without a Hero, Vanity Fair has instead two heroines the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp It also engages a huge cast of wonderfulA deliciously satirical attack on a money mad society, Vanity Fair, which first appeared in 1847, is an immensely moral novel, and an immensely witty one Called in its subtitle A Novel Without a Hero, Vanity Fair has instead two heroines the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp It also engages a huge cast of wonderful supporting characters as the novel spins from Miss Pinkerton s academy for young ladies to affairs of love and war on the Continent to liaisons in the dazzling ballrooms of London Thackeray s forte is the bon mot and it is amply exercised in a novel filled with memorably wicked lines Lengthy and leisurely in pace, the novel follows the adventures of Becky and Amelia as their fortunes rise and fall, creating a tale of both picaresque and risqu Thackery mercilessly skewers his society, especially the upper class, poking fun at their shallow values and pointedly jabbing at their hypocritical morals His weapons, however, are not fire and brimstone but an unerring eye for the absurd and a genius for observation of the foibles of his age An enduring classic, this great novel is a brilliant study in duplicity and hypocrisy and a mirror with which to view our own times.

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    About "William Makepeace Thackeray Ron Singer"

    1. William Makepeace Thackeray Ron Singer

      Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta, India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray 1 September 1781 13 September 1815 , held the high rank of secretary to the board of revenue in the British East India Company His mother, Anne Becher 1792 1864 was the second daughter of Harriet and John Harman Becher and was also a secretary writer for the East India Company.William had been sent to England earlier, at the age of five, with a short stopover at St Helena where the imprisoned Napoleon was pointed out to him He was educated at schools in Southampton and Chiswick and then at Charterhouse School.See also enpedia wiki William_

    752 thoughts on “Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero”

    1. Here I am, 54 years old, and for the very first time reading William Makepeace Thackeray's 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 can't help it, and nor should she; is she really any diffe [...]

    2. "But as we are to see a great deal of Amelia, there is no harm in saying, at the outset of our acquaintance, that she was a dear little creature. And a great mercy it is, both in life and in novels, which (and the latter especially) abound in villains of the most sombre sort that we are to have for a companion so guileless and good natured a person. As she is not a heroine, there is no need to describe her person; indeed I am afraid that her nose was rather too short than otherwise and her cheek [...]

    3. Written in 1848,Vanity Fair is an excellent satire of English society in the early 19th Century. Thackeray states several times that it is a novel "without a hero", and at a couple of points tries to claim that Amelia, a good person but who inevitably comes across as rather wishy-washy, is the heroine. But we all know that a "bad" girl or boy is infinitely more interesting than a "good" girl or boy, so I suspect Thackeray of dissembling even here. Becky Sharp is out and out the anti-hero(ine) in [...]

    4. The author makes his presence known towards the end of the book. It was both eerie and uncanny. He kept breaking the fourth wall, then he conjured that apparition of his in one of the last chapters.Vanity Fair contains no real heroes. That was a fact that Thackeray himself stated, and who am I to dispute that. This book of his is quite droll in its stitching together. There is a threat of a continuum, then everything is put back into question.Classics are a strange beast. With them, I feel attac [...]

    5. 1. I liked the company of Thackeray who is breezy, ebullient and cynical about everyone’s motives. And he’s very confident too. He thinks he knows everything, although there’s not a word about how the poor live here, that’s not his subject. So he’s like the mid-19th century version of Tom Wolfe or Jonathan Franzen, two authors (among many others) who also think they know everything. I don’t mind them thinking that. It’s a good quality in a writer who’s trying to depict all of soc [...]

    6. Vanity Fair is a big surprise for me. I was expecting a story about the trial and tribulations of a couple of plucky lady friends what I discovered was a witty, satirical novel that made me laugh several times, engaged my attention always and even moving at times.On the surface Vanity Fair is a story of the two main characters Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, two childhood friends from the opposite ends of the moral and intellectual spectrum. Becky is ambitious, conniving and smart, Amelia is humb [...]

    7. I realize that I'm not making friends here by only giving what is considered a masterful piece of literature what amounts to a "meh" review but that's really how I felt about this book. On a small scale, I thought the writing was too long-winded. This is not a fancy story and it could have been told more concisely. I was mostly bored reading it.On a bigger scale, I had serious issues with the heroine. Rebecca is the type of woman who has always made my stomach churn in anger and to ask me to sym [...]

    8. Spoilers!Miss Rebecca Sharp's Guide to the Regency Society1. If a young lady is not born into either rank or fortune, she will be looked down upon by good society and forced to exist in a humiliating dependency on others for life, unless the said young lady is willing, nay, not merely willing, but most strenuously strive to improve her situation. 2. If the said young lady, despite being a poor orphan, happens to have the good fortune of being admitted into an exclusive academy for young ladies a [...]

    9. I finish the book and wonder how to best convert the muddy puddle of my impressions into some-kind of a coherent rich picture of a review.Well what is is, imagine an exhibition of of George Cruikshank's drawings or of those of Gilray perhaps, there is wit and fun, but after a while , maybe they are a little wearisome. In this it reminds me of when I was a student and sometimes, not knowing any better I'd read The Economist, eventually I noticed whatever country or problem was discussed the analy [...]

    10. Ok, okI'm reading this as a break between books for classes in Grad School. Is that the dorkiest thing you could ever imagine? Yes. It is. It just is.But the first two pages, the author's introductionest two pages of introductory prose I've ever seen. Better than Kafka, better than Nabokov, better than whatever. Fucking brilliant- vivid, funny, rambunctious, wise, sarcastic, immortally satirical. I was hooked each time I picked up the book and read through it. Sometimes there's that first blush [...]

    11. Excessively Long Book Syndrome: It takes ages to read and it's more than a 100 years old, therefore it must be great, right? Wrong! So wrong, in this case, that the editor's claim that it "has strong claims to be the greatest novel in the English language" is laughable. It's not even the greatest such novel of its century by a huge stretch - seriously, the best works of Hardy, the Brontes and Austen are all better by a country mile, not least because they don't carry such a ridiculous weight of [...]

    12. Maybe I've matured as a reader now but I think I haven't enjoyed any classic as much as I did this one. It was thicker and longer than many a novel, but I enjoyed it the better for it. By the end, I understood why it was so long, the ending justified it. I was so daunted by its iconic title to read it before, but it was easier to read than most classics. The experience was complete, there wasn't anything missing, it had everything and so so much more.Published in 1847-1848, Vanity Fair is a Vict [...]

    13. Probably First Realistic Femme Fatale of Modern LitThe Prototype for Most Who Followed"Now I ain't sayin' you a gold digger, you got needs.*** Get down girl, go 'head, get down.""Gold Digger," Kanye West, Ray Charles, Renald Richard, 2005Becky Sharp is perhaps modern lit's first exemplar of today's femme fatale. Clever, charming, attractive, as well as artful, duplicitous, hyper-ambitious, a superself-centered woman who uses sex as one of her tools to manipulate men but only to serve her needs. [...]

    14. “Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?”Vanity fair! A novel without a hero! A puppet show! The puppets are the flawed and unlikeable characters and the acts are hypocrisy, callousness, betrayal and artfulness.Narrated by Thackeray himself who is unreliable and voluble, the story is about two opposites. The manipulative, cunning, scheming and pleasure-seeking Becky Sharp and the weak, naive and kindhearted (in my opinion stupid and annoyi [...]

    15. There was a girl I knew in school that made my formative years (for this purpose I'm considering the "formative years" to be 11-14) a bloody hell. She was a nasty, manipulative, cruel girl who, unfortunately for me, also had the luck of being beautiful and popular. She was wretched to the little people, and I was a little person. She was mean to me but I so wanted her to be my friend because I thought if I was her friend and a part of her circle, then everything would be okay. Life would be perf [...]

    16. Thackeray's opus is a wonder. Long, yes, but so very good in so many ways.He's part Oscar Wilde, part Jonathan Swift, with a dash of Dickens, but all his own voice.Since the story is so long and sprawling, I only jotted down a few notes on my impressions.* He breaks the 4th wall, some times with savage glee, yanking it down making you look at yourself and the characters in a new light. Other times he does it with delicacy, sliding back the wall and making you feel like it's just him and you in t [...]

    17. Make sure that you read William Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair in public, not in the hope that someone may spot you reading a classic, but so that you may see the characters of this wonderfully perceptive (and prophetic) novel wandering about in the flesh. Vanity Fair is populated not by characters but by real people and thus, will never date.Thackeray is masterful, he allows his characters the freedom to do as they please; they are autonomous and must make decisions on their own, as must we al [...]

    18. AbbreviationsIntroductionChronology of Thackeray's Life and WorksSelect Reading ListA Note on the Text--Vanity FairNotesAppendix: ParodyTextual Variants

    19. First things first: Don't get this edition! I recently attended my college reunion. Whilst ambling idly around the green lawns of that hallowed institution, I had chance to encounter my most distinguished and beloved professor of English. Exalted that I happened to be dandling Thackeray's baby on my knee (instead of the glossy monthly version of Vanity Fair, as is more common with me), with sparkling eyes and an enchanting smile I thrust my copy before his erudite and discerning nose. "My favori [...]

    20. A look at the foibles of people and their motives. Thackeray's characters display all the aspects of "vanity". By definition, vanity is either "excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements" or "the quality of being worthless or futile". Vanity can also be "a dressing table" but I suspect that Thackeray didn't have this definition in mind (:D). Thackeray manages to give each of his characters an aspect of vanity that conflicts and contrasts with their circumstances, li [...]

    21. The Good:Probably the greatest cast of human beings ever written. Glorious, miserable and frustrating, these people were the British Empire’s middle management. It’s worth noting that this was set around the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) and published a generation later, like a contemporary novel taking the piss out of the 80s. It is caustic in its parody of absolutely everyone and everything, and often very funny. I thought it ended well too.The Bad:The second half of the novel is too l [...]

    22. 'Le ambizioni sbagliate'Libro di metà '800, colloca le vicende narrate tra l'inizio del secondo decennio e gli anni '30 di quel secolo, per un'estensione temporale quindi di oltre un ventennio."La fiera delle vanità" ben rappresenta il periodo di transizione fra la cultura romantica e quella realistica : sicuramente c'è l'intento di tracciare un quadro della società del tempo; l'autore però non rimane estraneo alle vicende, anzi quasi manzonianamente commenta, induce esplicitamente il letto [...]

    23. You should probably read this book because it is pretty hilarious. If you don’t want to, though – if you’re a wuss about page length and the words Waterloo and Wellington aren’t enough to overcome it – there are some acceptable alternatives about which I will gladly tell you now. While the feature film was TERRIBLE, COMPLETELY SPOILED THE STORY, and didn’t pay attention to ANY of the jokes (shaking my fist at that ruiner, Mira Nair!), the A&E miniseries is really good. Like, real [...]

    24. This is one of the Victorian classics I read as a kid, probably at the age of 13 or 14 (certainly no older); the 1999 date refers to a second reading, when I was home schooling my daughters in British Literature, and felt that I needed a refresher on this one. Though this is Thackeray's best-known novel, it's not his only one; but it's the only one I've read (although I have read his excellent short story "Dennis Haggerty's Wife," which is included in the anthology Great English Short Stories).A [...]

    25. I feel I've reached a milestone, having finally read this. I'd spent years avoiding it – partly its length and negative comments from people unable to finish it. I found it very readable and hugely entertaining. I now feel quite bereft as I had got to know Thackeray's characters pretty well and came to regard some of them as old friends, others as familiar foes. I'd expected to be bored but it is difficult to be bored by Vanity Fair, just over indulged perhaps.It is a satire on Life and Societ [...]

    26. According to the description on the back of my copy, this book is "deliciously satirical." If that means the book is supposed to be taken as a joke, then I definitely read it the wrong way. Maybe I should try rereading it while repeating under my breath, "It's Oscar Wilde, it's Oscar Wilde, it's Oscar Wilde" until I see that it's funny, but frankly I'd rather not. Here, presented in simple list form, are the reasons I disliked this book:-William Makepeace Thackeray is a condescending ass. Maybe [...]

    27. I have read this before either in high school or college but I'm older now and can let go of a book that I find tedious.I have changed my mind, which is a woman's prerogative. I signed up for this group classics read. No one made me. I have decided to fulfill my obligation.The decision to DNF this book has thankfully been made for me. Talk about much ado about nothing. I just received a new book that I plan on starting tonight plus the other two books I am already working on. I would definitely [...]

    28. "Which of us is there can tell how much vanity lurks in our warmest regard for others, and how selfish our love is? He [Mr. Osborne] firmly believed that everything he did was right, that he ought, on all occasions, to have his own way, and like the sting of a wasp or serpent, his hatred rushed out, armed and poisonous, against anything like opposition. He was proud of his hatred, as of everything else; always to be right, always to trample forward and never to doubt: are not these the great qu [...]

    29. I approached this book with trepidation since it was so long and written so long ago. I was prepared to be burdened and bored but I really enjoyed it. It took me about ten weeks to read, and that was at a very busy time of my life, so it probably would not have taken so long under ordinary circumstances. I especially liked the ending as I expected that a female character would be the character who suffered most because of vanity -- but it was not! I liked this story so much that I might even con [...]

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