By Danny Webb,2014-05-21 09:26
15 views 0

Thackerays style and technique in writing Vanity Fair

1. The author really has a way to mix every kind of humor together. It's got topical humor,

    political humor, jokes about silly names, and deeply sad irony about the decline of the

    aristocracy, as well as the society.


    A;P205 note25之后

    It is a fact that…..their trifling debt.

    Human kindness ? the first 6 month pay was out of human kindness, otherwise the gardener’s wife would have got nothing from the Crawleys, which implied that the Crawleys was very nice to her compare with others. ? Ironical and humorous

    Trifling debt: the same kind of humor as the “human kindness”.

    B;About political humor. Every generation of Crawleys has a first name that reflects whoever is the political power of the day, no matter which party or which kind of government they represent. In other words, they switch allegiances忠诚 just to support the winning team.

2. Thackeray's own role in the novel is as an omniscient narrator上帝视角, he is one of the

    writers best known for using the technique.


    P197 para.2 line1

    “I”, is here introduced to personify the world in general

3. Usually Thackeray just describes what happens. Instead of directly showing the characters’

    personality, sometimes the author tells what the situation is. And very often, after his vivid description, readers can easily see the implied meaning through the description. Examples:

    A. P205 note25之后

    It is a fact that…..their trifling debt.

    The author did not simply say that Mr. and Mrs. Crawley are stingy and mean to others. But by telling the situation that they didn’t even pay for their servants, readers can easily understand and to imagine the ways they treat other people, friends or landlords.

    B. P204 Para3 (The parting betweensince his birth), Para4 line4 (His fathermany times to see

    him here)

    Mother: unsentimental, irresponsible, father: love his son very much.

4. The author is good at dramatic presentation


    Amelia visits Becky to find out if she can help her. Becky has hidden her brandy bottle in the

    bed, and is putting forth every effort to engage Amelia's sympathy by way of little Rawdon "My agonies," Becky continued, "were terrible (I hope she won't sit down on the bottle) when

    they took him away from me I thought I should die; but I fortunately had a brain fever. ?

    dramatic comparison and description, bits of irony.

5. The tone of Vanity Fair seems to darken as the book goes on.


    At the novel's beginning, Becky Sharp is a bright girl with an eye to improving her lot through marrying up the social scale; though she is thoroughly unsentimental, she is nonetheless portrayed as being a good friend to Amelia. By novel's end she is implied to have become an adulteress and a murderess. Amelia begins as a warm-hearted and friendly girl, though sentimental and naive, but by story's end she is portrayed as vacuous and shallow.

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email