Book review: Vanity Fair- William Thackeray

Essay by coffee-cupJunior High, 9th gradeA+, January 2004

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Book Review- Vanity Fair by William Thackeray.

First published in 1848 Vanity Fair received impressive reviews and is now considered one of the more famous classics of today. Out of all of Thackeray's works Vanity Fair is the most recognisable in most literary circles and many refer to this particular piece of work as a masterpiece of literature.

Not much could be said about the plot of this remarkable book. It doesn't really have one, and that's what makes it quite different from other books. It is more a story of the lives of different characters as they move through their lives and face various challenges and trials. The other particular thing about this book is that it is, in the words of Thackeray, "A novel without a hero". This particular story starts with two girls, Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, as they leave their ladies finishing school and venture out into the real world.

These two young women are polar opposites. While Amelia is a sweet, honest, simple, trusting, naïve girl, sheltered all her life by her rich merchant father, Becky is a intelligent, conniving, ruthless, ambitious young lady, orphaned at a young age, who has learnt to deal with life and who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. I guess it could be said that the story mainly revolves around these two very different girls with two very different lives. More and more characters are introduced into the story as the girls separate from each other and move on to make their own way in the world. In fact towards the middle and the end of the novel, Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley are hardly the heroines of the novel anymore. Many of the character's, that were introduced at the start, lives are...