Vanity Fair is a classic novel produced in the Victorian era and written by none other than the great literary personality W M Thackeray. This is perhaps the first one of anti-hero classics which was ever produced. In this novel, you will also get to find a subtitle ‘novel without a hero’ because Thackeray knew that his hero is going to be, in fact, a heroine with some villainy inside her. As one one of my posts suggested earlier that Vanity Fair is all about a character named Rebecca Sharp or Becky, this is this only! Becky’s progress to prosperity and fame and wealth is the major meat of Vanity Fair.
In this novel, the author seems to be attached with Becky more than any other character. Even the ‘faithful dog’ in this novel, who is none other than William Dobbin, cannot get the sympathy of the novelist other than Becky. Becky’s friend, who almost gives everything to her, Amelia, also escapes the cruel eyes of William Thackeray which don’t want to see his favourite character suffer in this Vanity Fair where everyone seems to go behind anyone or anything. After all, poor Becky is orphan and she needs to take care of things herself!
Vanity Fair, the novel’s title, comes from one of the earlier novels, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. And Thackeray has kept the spirit of the original Vanity Fair alive – we can see everything being sold and equally bought by the characters. The rise of Becky and fall of Amelia; perpetual happiness with Becky and perpetual sorrows with Amelia are nothing but Thackeray’s way to show the truth. His realism comes with humour and the package is so well delivered to the readers that we have a serious novel as well as a documentation of the world around us with some witty comedy. If you are looking for some great piece of a classic, you must go for Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair without a doubt!