Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero

Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero

2.8 5
by William Thackeray, John Sutherland
     
 

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On a broad and colourful canvas, extending from urban and rural England to Waterloo and the continental haunts of exiles, Thackeray gives us one of the greatest social-satirical novels in the language-one of the most entertaining and profound, and, in the person of Becky Sharp, we have one of literature's most resourceful, attractive, and amoral characters. …  See more details below

Overview

On a broad and colourful canvas, extending from urban and rural England to Waterloo and the continental haunts of exiles, Thackeray gives us one of the greatest social-satirical novels in the language-one of the most entertaining and profound, and, in the person of Becky Sharp, we have one of literature's most resourceful, attractive, and amoral characters. Essentially a commentary on hypocrisy and those ethical principles to which society pays lip-service, Vanity Fair (1847-8) invites us to consider which is to blame: the opportunist or the society that makes opportunism necessary. This edition, which reproduces the text of the Oxford Thackeray enhanced by John Sutherland's lively introduction and notes, includes all of Thackeray's own illustrations. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191500343
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
09/10/2008
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
37 MB
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Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
inkarus More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best free copy I could find
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vanity Fair is a thought provoking novel that highlights hypocrisy in high-class society. The story follows the lives of main characters, Amelia Sedley, and Rebecca Sharp, as they battle real troubles that plagued most women of the time. The novel highlights how these troubles change the perception of characters, as well as the changes in the characters themselves. Each character seems to face a different conflict; however, most of these problems are either character vs. society or character vs. character. Amelia is a fortunate, woman who has never had to work much for anything. Her kind disposition makes her seem very naïve and child-like. She is a compassionate character with a delicate heart. The youthful girl finds a sister in Becky, an attachment that she later grows to regret. Ultimately, Amelia learns that life can be cruel and unjust, but the people who truly care for her will always be by her side. Although the author states that the novel has no hero, Rebecca is often referred to by the author as the heroine of the story. She starts off as the poor orphaned daughter of an unrecognized artist, and must do anything she can to gain respect in high-class society. Becky can make friends and enemies quite easily. She will do what ever it takes to make a name for herself; however, some of her methods may seem unconventional. Becky's merciless grab for power is first noted in her attempt to find a husband. Of course, in Vanity Fair, a woman is only as respected as the man she marries. Becky spends a lapse of time with Amelia's family while waiting to be transported to Queen's Crawley. Here, she is introduced to Amelia's wealthy brother, Joseph. Becky commanded his attention, and nearly had his proposal for marriage, sadly, she had to take leave for her job as a governess. This is the first event that makes up the rising action of Vanity Fair. Later, Becky's employer, Sir Pitt Crawley, makes astonishing revelations to Becky. It is at the time of these announcements that she reveals shocking news of her own. Her announcement marks the second rising action of Vanity Fair. The climax, however, does not occur until long after this important point of the story. I found Vanity Fair to be very entertaining novel that gives a very strong statement about all of society. Thackeray captures the bitter betrayal of trust that exists between friends. His account of Becky's manipulating nature is stunning. This is shown when the author tells of how Becky knowingly controlled the heart of Amelia's husband. He truly poisons the mind with the idea that women- often thought to be delicate and genteel- are not only vain and manipulative, but also have the capacity to be brutally cruel to each other. The author often leaves it up to the reader to make conclusions and inferences. For example, towards the end of the novel, a certain death leaves the reader questioning the cause. The holes in his story are made up by his occasional commentary on certain events that have occurred. I also enjoyed that Thackeray uses historical events in his text. His account of the battle of Waterloo and the following years gives the reader a better sense of time elapsing. This novel may not be for everybody. I found it to be very entertaining, but the Thackeray's cynical satire and irony may not appeal to everyone. Overall, Vanity Fair is an enjoyable, stimulating novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago