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|Before the Curtain||ix|
|II||In Which Miss Sharp and Miss Sedley Prepare to Open the Campaign||18|
|III||Rebecca Is in Presence of the Enemy||29|
|IV||The Green Silk Purse||38|
|V||Dobbin of Ours||52|
|VII||Crawley of Queen's Crawley||78|
|VIII||Private and Confidential||87|
|X||Miss Sharp Begins to Make Friends||105|
|XII||Quite a Sentimental Chapter||128|
|XIII||Sentimental and Otherwise||137|
|XIV||Miss Crawley at Home||150|
|XV||In Which Rebecca's Husband Appears for a Short Time||171|
|XVI||The Letter on the Pincushion||181|
|XVII||How Captain Dobbin Bought a Piano||190|
|XVIII||Who Played on the Piano Captain Dobbin Bought||200|
|XIX||Miss Crawley at Nurse||213|
|XX||In Which Captain Dobbin Acts as the Messenger of Hymen||225|
|XXI||A Quarrel About an Heiress||236|
|XXII||A Marriage and Part of a Honeymoon||246|
|XXIII||Captain Dobbin Proceeds on His Canvass||256|
|XXIV||In Which Mr. Osborne Takes Down the Family Bible||263|
|XXV||In Which All the Principal Personages Think Fit to Leave Brighton||278|
|XXVI||Between London and Chatham||300|
|XXVII||In Which Amelia Joins Her Regiment||309|
|XXVIII||In Which Amelia Invades the Low Countries||316|
|XXX||"The Girl I Left Behind Me"||341|
|XXXI||In Which Jos Sedley Takes Care of His Sister||351|
|XXXII||In Which Jos Takes Flight, and the War is Brought To a Close||364|
|XXXIII||In Which Miss Crawley's Relations Are very Anxious About Her||383|
|XXXIV||James Crawley's Pipe is Put Out||395|
|XXXV||Widow and Mother||414|
|XXXVI||How to Live Well on Nothing a Year||426|
|XXXVII||The Subject Continued||436|
|XXXVIII||A Family in a Very Small Way||452|
|XXXIX||A Cynical Chapter||468|
|XL||In Which Becky is Recognized by the Family||479|
|XLI||In Which Becky Revisits the Halls of Her Ancestors||489|
|XLII||Which Treats of the Osborne Family||502|
|XLIII||In Which the Reader has to Double the Cape||510|
|XLIV||A Roundabout Chapter between London and Hampshire||521|
|XLV||Between Hampshire and London||532|
|XLVI||Struggles and Trials||542|
|XLVIII||In Which the Reader is Introduced to the Very Best of Company||561|
|XLIX||In Which We Enjoy Three Courses and a Dessert||574|
|L||Contains a Vulgar Incident||582|
|LI||In Which a Charade is Acted Which May or May Not Puzzle the Reader||593|
|LII||In Which Lord Steyne Shows Himself in a Most Amiable Light||613|
|LIII||A Rescue and a Catastrophe||625|
|LIV||Sunday After the Battle||635|
|LV||In Which the Same Subject is Pursued||645|
|LVI||Georgy is Made a Gentleman||663|
|LVIII||Our Friend the Major||686|
|LIX||The Old Piano||699|
|LX||Returns to the Genteel World||711|
|LXI||In Which Two Lights are Put Out||718|
|LXIII||In Which We Meet an Old Acquaintance||745|
|LXIV||A Vagabond Chapter||759|
|LXV||Full of Business and Pleasure||777|
|LXVII||Which Contains Births, Marriages, and Deaths||803|
|A Note on the Text||832|
1. In her Introduction, Joanna Trollope asserts that "one of the huge charms of [Vanity Fair] is that nothing is conventional." Do you think Thackeray's choice of a protagonist speaks to this claim, given the novel's picaresque structure? How does this choice inform the novel? In what other ways does the novel confirm Trollope's claim?
2. What is your opinion of Thackeray's preface, "Before the Curtain"? How does it illuminate for you what he is attempting to do in the novel? In what ways is Thackeray "manager of the performance"? Discuss the role of the narrator in the novel. Is he reliable?
3. Why does Thackeray insist that this is a "novel without a hero"? Do you agree? What are the implications, if any, of such a claim?
4. Compare Becky and Amelia. What, if anything, does Thackeray intend by their contrasting destinies? Does one represent or confirm Thackeray's moral viewpoint better than the other, or do neither? What do you think of the preponderance of unlikable characters? Do you find Thackeray's outlook in any way misanthropic?
5. Anthony Trollope points out that many of Thackeray's contemporaries concluded upon reading Vanity Fair that he "was no novelist, but only a cynic." Do you agree? Do you think this judgment was simply a consequence of the period?
6. Robert Louis Stevenson, in a comment about the novel, remarked on Rawdon's striking of Lord Steyne in chapter 53, saying, "If Rawdon Crawley's blow were not delivered, Vanity Fair would cease to be a work of art." Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not?
7. Discuss the significance of the Battle of Waterloo. Whatrole does this crucial event play in the novel? Does it in any way serve as a metaphor for other episodes in the text?
Posted January 2, 2010
Unfortunately, I thought that this 2+ megabyte download would give me the entire Vanity Fair novel, however it only covers about a third of the complete work. It would be good for B&N to write a more complete description of this offering so mistakes such as mine could be avoided.
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Posted January 2, 2012
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Posted October 14, 2010
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