Critical Analysis Of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair

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Biography William Makepeace Thackeray was an English nineteenth-century novelist and artist. He often created drawings to complement his writings and further enhance his stories. One of his most famous writings was Vanity Fair, which was published between 1847-1848. Thackeray wrote both fiction and nonfiction pieces over the years. He was mostly interested in modern literature. During this time, Thackeray help establish the novel without a hero type of literature. This can mostly be shown through Vanity Fair . Thackeray ancestors had a history of serving in the British East india Company, so he was born in Calcutta in 1811. His father at the time was a well-to-do officer in the company. Shortly after his fourth birthday, Thackeray’s father …show more content…
The full title of this novel, Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero, might shed some light on the criticism. Many critics berate Thackeray’s characters, choice of writing, and tone throughout the whole novel. Thackeray uses harsh satire to convey his beliefs of Victorian society. In an article, written by Edgar F. Harden, Harden criticizes Thackeray’s use of satire to help influence his audience and clearly state his beliefs on society. Throughout the novel, Thackeray’s satire “radically challeng[es] the reader’s most fundamental assumptions about human life, but doing so in a voice that evokes a personal human presence alongside the readr”(Harden,1). Thackeray’s satire evokes thought, while simultaneously flawlessly convincing the audience of his horrible and twisted views of society. Thackeray’s characters insult and downgrade those closest to themselves to gain the favor of others, going as far as to say “[if] a man’s character is to be abused, say what you will, there’s nobody like a relative to do the business” (Thackeray). These ruthless people will do whatever it takes to reach the top of society, which Thackeray easily displays through his satirical comments. All of the characters in this novel are cruel and deceiving people who are not afraid to take down the ones they love the most. Thackeray did not have to make up much for “[his] subject …show more content…
Sharp is a poor orphan girl that use to attend Miss Pinkerton’s academy for young ladies. The book opens with the departure of her and another young lady from the academy, Amelia Sedley. Sedley is Sharp are foils to one another, but act as friends towards each other. Sharp is a conniving, cunning, and selfish person whose only goal in life is to climb the social ladder. Sedley, however, is a kindhearted young women that holds respect to everyone. The contrast in characters help establish Sharp’s characterization throughout the novel. Sharp throughout the novel is conniving and fools all of the people around her. She is always using people to benefit herself, causing that fact that even though she is “in the midst of friends, home, and kind parents, she was alone” (Thackeray). Because Sharp uses people, she does not have anyone to confide in, making her feel alone. All of the problems she faces, Sharp solves by using people. She uses everyone, making “the greatest tyrants over women” is her (Thackeray). By using everyone, not matter what the situation, she becomes everyones enemy and downfall. Once Sharp is at the top of society, she is living a horrible life with a dead husband and not caring about her child. She then starts to realise how horrible her life is reminiscing by stating “if you are not allowed to touch the heart sometimes in spite of syntax, and are not to be loved until you all know

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