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Vanity Fair Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 174 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Vanity Fair.
This section contains 6,224 words
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay, Peck explores "the relentless nature of Thackeray's onslaught on the middle class" in Vanity Fair.

This revolting reflex of society is literally true
enough. But it does not shew us the whole truth. Are
there not women, even in Vanity Fair, capable of nobler
things than are here set down for them? (Robert
Bell. Fraser's Magazine, 1848)



Everywhere we turn in the early reviews of Vanity Fair we encounter this kind of criticism; the reviewers are enthusiastic but appreciation of the brilliance of Thackeray's performance is always qualified by reservations about his view of human nature. Modern critics have, of course, moved beyond the moral quibbling evident in the early reviews. Essentially, criticism of the novel now follows one of three courses: there is appreciation of the complexity of its moral and social vision, or praise for Thackeray's handling of the narrative voice, or, and...

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This section contains 6,224 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Vanity Fair Study Guide
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Vanity Fair 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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