Tag Archives: William Makepeace Thackeray

On to Vanity Fair

Vanity FairĀ is turning out to be promising (nothing less from a classic, of course), and I’m once again resisting the urge to pick up my orange highlighter and make horizontal marks on its wise passages.

Let me share one:

The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion; and so let all young persons take their choice.

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I’m currently on the third chapter and I still couldn’t get over what Rebecca Sharp did in the first one. If you must know, while there seemed to be no friends fussing over her departure from Chiswick Mall, there was actually one who had the sincerest intents for her goodwill and that was Miss Jemima. You see, this kindhearted lady took the effort of sending her off with a dictionary and while Miss Jemima assumed Miss Sharp would accept it with heartfelt gratitude, the latter heartlessly threw it off as the carriage was leaving the gates of their school. I was so surprised about this, years of reading Austen did not prepare me for such conduct.

Early on, Rebecca Sharp is indeed the antithesis of all of Austen’s heroines.

If only she wrote more

In the span of three long years, I was able to read Austen’s six completed novels and now that it’s over, I kind of regret shunning her once. I miss the eligible gentlemen, the lovely ladies, the lavish balls, the grandiose appearances, and the like. I miss Austen. Reading her again will only make me long for more of her social satires.

Sure there may be novels with ladies who are just as charming as Elizabeth or Emma and gentlemen who are as noble as Darcy or Knightley but let’s face it, no one does it better than Austen. I recently purchased William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity FairĀ with high hopes that I might rekindle the joy of reading social satires but since there is no hero in this story, I sort of miss the romantic gratifications, as well.

How I wish Austen wrote more. That would have made some of us happy.