Teacher Guide

Vanity Fair Lesson Plan

Introduction to Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair was published as a series of installments, beginning in 1847. Even before all installments had been published, the work was an enormous hit. Thackeray was hailed for his realistic satire and yet, at the same time, criticized for his ruthless depiction of his characters. It is difficult to locate any redeeming qualities in the characters of Vanity Fair, as each character seems totally consumed by the pursuit of social mobility and wealth. In particular, the novel's main character seems entirely devoid of conscience.

The catchy title was derived from a reference made in John Bunyan's allegorical story, The Pilgrim's Progress. One of the towns encountered by the pilgrims is...

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