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Vanity Fair – Outstanding work in the 19th century

High & Low Moderns- Literature and Culture 1889 - 1939

In order to understand the social culture of a country at a particular time, it is best to study the typical literary works of that period. Especially with the works of great authors in British realist literature, they have a broad overview and quite comprehensively reflect the contemporary England synagogue.

From the mournful fate of an orphan to the woman in the aristocratic bourgeois society, from the poverty of the working people to the emotional decline, morality, and the lifestyle of the class. dominate. All as described truthfully and vividly in the literary works of that period. For W.M.Thackeray, the picture of British society and people is clearly outlined through the masterpiece Vanity Fair.

In Vanity Fair, Money – Love – Ethics go hand in hand. Thackeray showed that when money reigns on the highest ladder of society, there will be emotional frivolity, moral decadence.

William Thackery life and career

William Mackepeace Thackeray was born on July 18, 1811 and died December 24, 1863, although he was born in India, but is considered a famous British novelist.

William Makepeace Thackeray

He attended the schools of Southampton, Chiswick, Charterhouse and studied law in Middletemple. By the age of 21, he inherited a huge fortune but he squandered much of it on gambling and on funding two unsuccessful newspapers, The National Standard and The Constitutional, for which he had hoped to write. He also lost a good part of his fortune in the collapse of two Indian banks. Forced to consider a profession to support himself, he turned first to art, which he studied in Paris, but did not pursue it, except in later years as the illustrator of some of his own novels and other writings. After marrying his wife, Isabella Gethin Shawe, and with three daughters he began writing books and journalism during this time. The thought of happiness smiling at her but unexpectedly tragedy struck again, Jena’s daughter passed away, his wife gradually became insane and could not take care of herself, in 1893 she also passed away due to illness.

Around the 1840s he made early success with two travel books, The Paris Sketch Book and The Iirch Sketch Book in the late 40s, he continued to succeed with Snob papers, Catherine. A special event to bring Thackeray’s name to success was the birth of the Fair of the Fairness novel, released in January 1847, when he was compared with Charles Dickens and during the Victorian dynasty, Thackeray second only to Charles. He stood at the pinnacle of his half-life career. Initially he used pseudonyms such as Charles James, Michael Angelo Titmarsch. He stung the artificial lifestyle of the elite, the soldier’s glory with iconic works such as Vanity Fair, Barry Lyndon’s Luck, The Newcomes, Pendenis, and including The adventures of Philip. by Thackeray. Critic Anthony Trollope rated his Henry Esmond as his greatest and best work even though it was not as popular as Vanity Fair.

His health has declined since the 1850s. On December 24, 1863, his body was found in his home and in his bed, where he died of a stroke at the age of 52. His funeral was held in Kensington Gardens. and about seven thousand people attended. He was buried at the Kensal Green cemetery, whose statue was carved by Marochetti and kept in Westminster Abbey.

Circumstances of Vanity Fair

In the 19th century, the British capitalist system was in its peak stage of development; in 1875, four-fifths of the British population were living in the industry. The exploitable profits of the domestic workers and the plundering of the colonies enabled the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie to live in luxury. Outward British society at the time had a prosperous face; business is easy to bring big benefits; the status of the bourgeoisie in society was enhanced; the structure between the feudal class and the bourgeoisie was even tighter.

Vanity fair book

On the other hand, the life of the working masses was very hard. After the anti-Napoleonic war (ended 1815), the countryside was so ragged because the price of wheat had dropped so badly that many peasants burned flour mill; the Law on land zoning and robbery continues to be enforced; the middle class in the countryside decreased dramatically; they flocked to the city and become sterile, or turned into tenants working for landlords.

British society in the late 19th century underwent a complicated change in the social structure. The fierce social conflict, the emergence of conflict between labor and capital, caused the masses to lose faith in democracy – capitalism. British realism was formed, blossoming in that tense atmosphere, realists conscious of the dark truths of the heyday – under Queen Victoria’s rule and the historical mission of the proletariat. This has really attracted English writers such as: Dickens, Thackeray, Bronte …

Literally, it was the driving force behind the development of a strong realism from the 18th century, becoming the main literary trend under 19th-century Victorian dynasties. The realities of this period are Thackeray and Dickens.

The Vanity Fair is considered a masterpiece of realism in 19th-century English literature; it is one of the five most famous works of  United Kingdom literature.

A demise of morality through Vanity Fair

In the Fair of the Flowers, Thackeray affirmed: “The ultimate happiness of life is having luxury status and having lots of money; The people are rushing together to be wretched, defiant, afraid to subjugate those who have possessions and status ”. That is the reason to prove that: here morality and talent soon become antiques marginalized. This is completely understandable because in a commercial society only money and family prestige are the two objects that are idolized, appreciated and worshiped.

Morality in Vanity Fair is draped in a sumptuous, lavish brocade shirt; Carefully covered but just brushing a layer of fuzzy dust, flipping the shirt up is a picture of decadent morality that clearly shows up with despicable, naked emotions. It is hypocrisy, selfishness, selfishness, disgusting ostentatiousness, trumpet deception, tarnishing the most sacred of human emotions: paternity, spouses, mother and child Friends, … This life’s tons of games are successfully portrayed by the author through famous figures in the upper society with all social classes.

Vanity Fair is a story without the main character, but when depicting the character Rebecca, the author has been meticulously crafted to build a complete portrait that represents all the bad things in life: greed. advantageous, cunning, full of lust to be cowardly. All these pieces were assembled into an unethical picture in her.

The moral path that Rebecca chose is ultimately rewarded with empty handedness: unhappy family, no money, no status. Through angular portraits, Thackeray has proven to readers that it is the bliss in society that has washed away the good parts of the moral personality, leaving confusion in people’s hearts. . That is a trait like the old bad habits in society. From the ethical point of view to see life as an expensive point of view of the author; thereby indirectly condemning and strongly denouncing the elusive classes sitting on the working people’s neck and enjoying them. The reverse side of life is outlined in seemingly humorous details, but the profound philosophy that Thackeray wants to convey is a moral lesson about morality, a way of life for people that: morality is a beauty in the mind. human soul, so it is necessary to live up to its “human” part.

Thus, the mental illness of the British elite was well identified in Vanity Fair by Thackeray. To cure that disease is not only the medicine of the author but more importantly, the spiritual adjustment of the lifestyle of each person.


High and Low Moderns: Literature and Culture, 1889-1939

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