Vanity Fair, By William Makepeace Thackeray Essay

1829 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 8 Pages
**HOOK NEEDED** In the satiric novel, Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray exposes and examines the vanities of 19th century England. Numerous characters in the novel pursue wealth, power, and social standing, often through marriage or matrimony. Thackeray effectively uses the institution of marriage to comment on how these vanities often come at the expense of the true emotions of passion, devotion, and, of course, love.
In Vanity Fair, money is the pinnacle to all solutions to nearly all of the characters ' relationships. Thackeray connects England 's merchant families, the lesser nobility, and the high aristocracy through money and marriage as parents are evidently the chief negotiators in business transactions. Mr. Osborne is perhaps the novel 's most avaricious parent; money and social eminence are all-important to Mr. Osborne, and he is willing to sacrifice his children 's happiness to connect his family name with these vanities. He forbids his daughter Jane to marry an artist with whom she has fallen in love with, swearing to her "that she should not have a shilling of his money if she made a match without his concurrence" (Thackeray 364). For Mr. Osborne, love has little to do with marriage and is simply a transaction that should increase family wealth and prestige. This concept was not common during the 19th century. The rise of industrialism and colonialism meant many as a way of either rising in station or cementing business ties saw an influx of wealth into…

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