Sunday, August 4, 2019
Glare of Fashion in Vanity Fair Essay -- Vanity Fair Essays
Glare of Fashion in Vanity Fair I fancy the doors to society guarded by grooms of the chamber with flaming silver forks with which they prong all those who have not the right of the entrÃ ©e...the honest newspaper fellow....dies after a little time. He can't survive the glare of fashion long. It scorches him up, as the presence of Jupiter in full dress wasted that poor imprudent Semele&emdash;a giddy moth of a creature who ruined herself by venturing out of her natural atmosphere. (657) With this sentiment in mind, Thackeray expresses his conception of the danger present when one attempts to step outside of their inherent social strata. Through depicting a world devoted to upholding the inflexible codes of society, Thackeray creates an appropriate backdrop for his humorously satirical novel Vanity Fair. At the heart of this work, the avaricious Becky Sharp, born of common blood, fights against traditional precincts by "venturing" (657) outside of her proper environs and entering into an elevated climate where the credulous yield unquestioningly to her will and the skeptics scorn her with cold indifference. Determined to secure a place in genteel society, Rebecca, disregarding the standards of society, manipulates the naive by engaging in hypocrisy and subterfuge while blinding those who doubt her with an unconquerable charm. Clearly a perfectionist in the art of deception, Becky Sharp, a young woman with serpentine sentiments, slithers her way into the aristocratic society that composes the hollow cortex of Vanity Fair. With unremitting cupidity, Becky exploits all those she encounters for the sole purpose of ameliorating her own situation, both financially and socially. Commencing her mission... ...little earthenware pipkin, you want to swim down the stream along with the great copper kettles...lookout and hold your own! How the women will bully you!" (613) Substantiating Lord Steyne's foreboding, with frigid indifference the ladies at his soirÃ ©e slight Becky, thus proving that she can never fully advance into their milieu. In view of this, Becky, one step away from pushing open the doors to social dominance, fails. Charms and beauty only carry the unwealthy so far in the world of Vanity Fair, thus Becky remains locked out of the room to which she dedicated her life to gaining entrance. Outstripped by the pretentious peerage, Becky's quest for status reiterates the insuperable fact that one without fortune or noble ancestry "can't survive the glare of fashion long" (637). Thakeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. New York: Bantam Books, 1997.