Thackeray, a gentleman by birth and education, would have had the opportunity to observe many different circles of society (Melani). As one critic, John Forster, wrote,
"Vanity Fair is the work of a mind, at once accomplished and subtle, which has enjoyed opportunities of observing many and varied circles of society. . . his genteel characters... have a reality about them... They are drawn from actual life, not from books and fancy, and they are presented by means of brief, decisive yet always most discriminative touches (Melani).” This may easily have been the reason why he was able to, with such knowledgeable dark ...
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...e all the same. All governed by selfishness, all looking out for ourselves, all, inevitably, monsters.
And who would say it? Only someone like Thackeray, who had been fooled by selfishness himself and yet scorned the folly of not admitting to its terrible power. Power, that would, if ignored, create monsters of even heroes. Such was the case of the citizens of Vanity Fair which Thackeray wrote about in his novel Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero. In sharp contrast to the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan, whose main character unveiled selfishness’s disguise, Thackeray’s character, Becky Sharp, played right into its snare and did not realize it until it was too late. Thackeray sums up his novel with this last statement,
“Ah! Vanitus Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied? (Thackeray 678).”
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