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Double numbers in brackets in this chapter and henceforward denote chapter and page numbers respectively. In his lecture on George the Fourth, Thackeray expresses his scathing criticism of that monarch in the strongest sarcastic tone he was capable of. Looking back into history for the king's true personality, he writes, "you find you have nothing — nothing but a coat and a wig and a mask smiling below it — nothing but a great simulacrum.
His natural companions were dandies and parasites. He could talk to a tailor or a cook; but, as the equal of great statement, to set up a creature, lazy, weak, indolent, besotted of monstrous vanity, and levity incurable — it is absurd" The Four Georges: Yet, in a typical manner, the writer's verdict extends beyond the king's person and provides a direct link with: There is no stronger satire on the proud English society of that day, than that they admired George" Wheatley discusses the implied dichotomy between inner essence and outer self and Thackeray's suspicion that the latter is shown in as the greater power: Wheatley also rightly sees rigidity in all of its forms as the true object of Thackeray's criticism Critic Jerry Williamson even goes so far as to call her "quite pathologically blind" An extreme statement like this may go against the common view that for the most part, Becky is the only sober-minded and the most perspicacious denizen of Thackeray's Fair.
Still, the pattern built by her choices would seem to show a failure of judgement — or, as Iser claims, a persistent habit of living on illusions In her choice of Thackeray as one of the authors who "employ a narrative sequence that is primarily rhetorical, not historical" 4; also 21, 24 Ermarth surprisingly fails to look underneath the surface texture of.
Hence her insistence that Thackeray's world is governed by arbitrariness In my view, the situation is precisely the opposite, and it is the novel's ironic strategy that holds the vision of order both as the appearance of the ironic conflict when it is based on mere reflection of self to the world and its reality founded on what Thackeray believed to be a benevolently designed human essence.
The non-sequiturs, which I have shown to function as projections of verbal irony on a microlevel, find their equivalent on the macrolevel of narrative lines, as Rawlins points out Overall, and increasingly with each successive novel, Thackeray promotes his belief that no dispensation of divine justice can be expected.
Inprovidence does not interfere to punish the likes of Lord Steyne or Miss Pinkerton. Accident, such as Rawdon being at his club "nervously drinking claret" when his presence might have been crucial to winning his aunt's blessing on his marriage, is the product of individual, inborn temperament.
Thackeray does, indeed, use chance to his rhetorical profit, yet he does so in the context of parody: Becky's small stature seems to exaggerate the physical incongruity between her and her foes.
This lends visual credence to her status of a "giant-killer," whose figure Fry identifies as essential to low-norm satire On Thackeray's fascination with objects in his life and to their function in his fiction, see Chapter 3 of John Carey's Thackeray: Especially interesting is Carey's discussion of Thackeray's use of concrete detail regarding price and provenance in the interest both of realism and of irony: Their relations with people were, to him, infinitely suggestive of irony, pathos and absurdity" Kettle and Fraser take a similar view.
See also Dyson In her "Thackeray's Waterloo: History and War in ," Mary Hammond reads the Napoleonic War thematic of the novel as part of Thackeray's ironic strategy of exposing the romantic rewriting of recent history and its repositioning into the new context of commerce.
Thackeray's contemporary readers, according to Hammond, would have been made aware of the subtext running under his use of Waterloo and of military history by the novel's open declaration that it is not history, while consistently drawing on historical fact to create fictional narratives.
Daleski draws attention to the fact that though is not, strictly speaking, a historical novel, the power of Thackeray's critique derives from the analogy, consistently realized on a metaphorical level, between social and national conflicts. In his Dickens and Thackeray:And more with flashcards.
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