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Tom Wolfe Writing Styles in The Bonfire of the Vanities

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Style

Point of View

The Bonfire of the Vanities is told through a third-person, omniscient narrator, primarily from the points of view of Sherman McCoy, ADA Kramer, and Peter Fallow. Notably absent from the characters whose thoughts are shared with the reader are Maria Ruskin, Judy McCoy, the Reverend Bacon, and Judge Myron Kovitsky. Thus, neither of Sherman's women shares her thoughts with the reader. This choice by the author promotes dramatic tension because the reader must wait and worry along with Sherman to find out how the women will respond to the dramatic events surrounding the hit and run in the Bronx.

The author additionally promotes his satirical flavor by withholding the women's thoughts, because the reader, Sherman's lawyer, Sherman's father--in fact, everybody but Sherman--can tell which way the wind's blowing. Maria's loyalties have obviously never lain with Sherman, and it is only his giant-sized ego that convinces him...

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This section contains 1,702 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Bonfire of the Vanities Study Guide
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The Bonfire of the Vanities from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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