Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair: Essay Questions

1. Describe the ways that Becky Sharp thrives in society before her downfall.As Becky leaves the Pinkerton Academy, she hurls the gift of a dictionary out of the carriage window and immediately impresses the reader as an independent, rebellious character. However, once she arrives at Amelia’s home she decides to act upon her future plans …

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Vanity Fair: Biography

William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist, was born in India in 1811. His father died in 1815 and was sent to live in England at the age of five. He went on to be a pupil at Charterhouse and suffered from the regime of this prestigious English public school. He later studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, …

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Vanity Fair: Top Ten Quotations

‘Revenge may be wicked, but it’s natural,’ answered Miss Rebecca. ‘I’m no angel.’ And, to say the truth, she certainly was not. p. 11 This reference encapsulates Becky’s combative understanding of herself and human relations generally. The satirical, teasing tone is similarly maintained throughout the novel. She had previously made a respectful virgin-like curtsy to …

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Vanity Fair: Themes

GreedThe desire for wealth and social standing permeates the lives of the majority of characters and rivalry and ambition underscore their relations with each other. Becky is seen to want a husband with wealth and a respected position in society and is described as scheming to attract Joseph when she first encounters him. The narrator …

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Vanity Fair: Metaphors

Amelia’s PianoThis piano represents Amelia’s past and is a relic of both her youth and her family’s previous wealth. It also symbolizes Dobbin’s love for her as he buys it when the contents of her parents’ home are being auctioned off.As well as being a reminder of his love, it also represents Amelia’s blinkered view …

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Vanity Fair: Characters

Amelia SedleyAmelia is characterized as not only kind and gentle, but also insipid, lacking in intelligence and overly trusting. The novel begins with Amelia and Becky leaving Miss Pinkerton’s Academy together and from the first it is evident that Amelia fails to see Becky’s personality in full.Becky SharpAlthough this is a novel ‘without a hero’, …

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