‘Vanity Fair’ by William Makepeace Thackeray is a 19th century fiction. The story is about the lives of two young women from completely different backgrounds and families. Becky Sharp is the orphan daughter of an artist and dancer, not coming from much wealth, she has a striving ambition to attain a higher social status. After leaving school, she stays with her friend Amelia; the daughter of a wealthy family in London. Amelia has led a very privileged life whereas Becky has always struggled with not being upper class and knows she must charm and manipulate others to make her way through the world.
In this timeless classic, Thackery reflects his social criticisms on to the story. He focuses on Becky’s rise to the top of Victorian England’s shallow upper-class society and her swift fall. Vanity Fair also focuses on the people who populate that world, including Amelia, who in many ways lives out a parallel life to Becky’s.
Becky is determined to make her way in society. She has grown up mingling with members of the middle and upper classes. These early contacts made her aware of the divide between herself and those from the higher classes. Encountering many members of the high classes while staying at Amelia Sedley’s house in London, Becky starts to calculate her actions based on how they could increase her chances in gaining a higher status. As for Amelia, her story centers around her ill-fated relationship with George Osborne – who she has been engaged to since childhood and is set to marry soon.
Published 07/03/2013 by Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Classics) in the United Kingdom as part of the Penguin Clothbound Classics series
Hardback | 912 pages
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