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Cash and Matrimony at Vanity Fair Essay

Project id 1015585
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2867
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Money and Matrimony at Vanity Fair In his book Vanity Fair, William Thackeray exposes and analyzes the dressing of 19th century England. His characters pursue riches, power, and social standing, often through marriage or matrimony. The current essay appears at Thackeray's use of this institution of marriage in Vanity Fair to remark on how these vanities often come at the cost of the true feelings of enthusiasm, devotion, and love. Parental Ambitions In Vanity Fair, money is central to nearly every one of the characters' connections. Thackeray joins England's merchant families, the lesser nobility, and the large aristocracy through cash and matrimony, and parents are often the main negotiators in those business transactions. Mr. Osborne is possibly the book's most avaricious parent; cash and social eminence are all-important to Mr. Osborne, and he is prepared to sacrifice his kids ' happiness to associate his household name with those vanities. He intimidates his daughter Jane to marry an artist with whom she has fallen in love with, swearing for her "that she shouldn't have a shilling of his cash if she made a match with no concurrence" (p416). For Mr. Osborne love has little to do with matrimony, and union is merely a transaction which should boost family wealth and wealth. This concept has been by no means uncommon through the 19th century: the rise of industrialism and colonialism meant an influx of riches into England, and union was seen by most as a way of either climbing in channel or cementing business ties. This latter theme is observed in Mr. Osborne's interference in his son George's relationship with Amelia. Their courtship is organized, the "two young folks [with] been consumed by their parents" (p38).

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