The Bonfire of the Vanities Writing Style & Techniques

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Wolfe tells his story in the same style that characterizes his new journalism. Just as he appropriated fictional techniques for nonfiction, he freely uses nonfictional techniques in fiction. The latter, however, is nothing new. Wolfe laments the disappearance of novels, such as those by Dickens, Thackerey, Balzac, and Zola, alive with convincing precision that revealed how people in great cities lived during a particular age. Infused with immensely realistic detail, The Bonfire of the Vanities is as credible in describing the holding pens in the Bronx as it is in chronicling a glamorous dinner party on the Upper East Side. In addition, Wolfe effectively uses language to express not only a character's status but personality as well.

Unlike most of his nonfictional work, Wolfe employs omniscient narration that allows him to develop a variety of characters and freely comment on their motivations, inner thoughts, and backgrounds.

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This section contains 146 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Bonfire of the Vanities Study Guide
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