• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Faulks and Wolfe present the perpetual desire and greed, imperatives which have driven characters within their novels A Week in December and Bonfire of the Vanities.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'What does it profit a man who gains the earth but loses his soul'? Compare and contrast ways in which the two writers present modern society in light of this comment Faulks and Wolfe present the perpetual desire and greed, imperatives which have driven characters within their novels "A Week in December" and "Bonfire of the Vanities". Faulks presents London as multicultural though distinctly uncultured metropolis in the opening page of his latest novel "A Week in December". From the opening sentence, we as the reader envisage this bleak building site from Faulks description of "Shepherds Bush" which we now know as Westfield's shopping centre as "a compression of trade in a city centre". Wolfe paints a city racked with sin; the"unreal city" that Eliot feared so greatly. The novels are set in conflicting economic; 1980s America at a time of prosperity and 2007 London upon the brink of recession, both writers provide the reader with a social commentary of its time. Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" introduces the relatively minor character of the Mayor, and the important character of Reverend Bacon, the predominant religious figure, in the prologue which establishes the novel's background of inflamed race relations. ...read more.

Middle

The religion leads to him having a misconstrued idea of what is morally right. With his strong religious beliefs Hassan find it hard to accept the presentation of other religions; Christianity believing it "disgraceful" and how they seem to have "forgotten the true meaning of religion" however this further emphasises the importance of it within Hassan's life. Faulks presents Hassan as a "product of society." Arguably religion is the motivation for Jihad; however it is Hassan's extremist interpretation of religion, one fed to him by Salim that would lead to the immoral act he wishes to carry out. We can compare Hassan to his father Farooq, whilst they have the same religion, Farooq's outlook is merely positive unlike Hassan's. Not only is he "Strong in his devotions and pure in his behaviour' but believes his religion and "Spiritual belief is secure'. 'His faith enabled him to ride over financial turbulence and local hostility because he knew there was a truth that lay beyond cash flow and VAT'. Unlike Hassan Farooq's faith results in creating a character that is morally aware and stable. Hassan does manage to regain what is "morally correct" and his own identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tom Wolfe ruthlessly exposes the superficiality of 1980s culture. His criticism is not only confined to the very rich, the materialism of middle-class people is derided, too. Sebastian Faulks exposes the materialist obsessed nation with which greed and selfishness has taken over. Both authors provide a commentary upon modern society. The yearn for possession shadows societies morals and attitudes. Sherman McCoy's downfall comes from his infidelity to his wife; this could be seen as a catalyst. By the end of the novel he labels himself as "dead". Whilst making a realisation that he was the predecessor of his own fate he becomes aware that greed and the want for more caused his downfall. He gained nothing. Without a soul you merely exist. No emotions. This is similar to Veal's. His life is removed from the conscious state. Yet whilst having the immorality Sherman does, there is no downfall which comes from this. Veal's gets a "second chance" at life. Both Wolfe and Faulks have produced novels of their time. The reflection upon society that this is a superficial nation which has become fixated on materialism than morality is made evident. Whilst questioning the morality of religion among society and the effect of advancement in consumerism on our nation, both novels portray a society that has lost the true meaning of life. Word Count: 1929 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    do we, as readers of this novel, enter into the story of the English patient. The Villa San Girolamo, built to protect inhabitants from the flesh of the devil, had the look of a besieged fortress, the limbs of most of the statues blown off during the first days of shelling.

  2. Chance, Accident and Coincidence in The Mayor of Casterbridge

    And yet Henchard who has a traditional mind chooses to approach this weather-prophet in an attempt to win in business against the modern (Farfrae). The chance of the weather to be "rain and tempest" or good is 50:50, which means only one will prevail in business, either Henchard or Farfrae.

  1. Structure of the Novel The Mayor of the Casterbridge

    They talk about them with sarcasm and ill-manneredly. Hardy exposes us into their deep conversation, allowing ourselves into their ring. Coney lamented "how folk do worship fine clothes". Jopp reads out aloud Lucetta's passionate letters and he intends to "shame her". Then they all decided that the letters serve as a "good foundation of a skimmity-ride", which is the "funniest thing under the sun".

  2. How do Arthur Miller and Tenessee Williams explore the blurring of reality and fantasy ...

    a husband by Mitch she again says to Stanley that; "Our attitudes and backgrounds are incompatible." C.W.E. Bigsby famously commented on this view of Blanche when he stated that "her marriage to a homosexual husband had in effect been a logical extension of her desire to aestheticise experience, her preference for style over function."

  1. Characters similarities in The Mayor of Casterbridge

    Although warned of these likely consequences plus the fact that Elizabeth-Jane also likes Farfrae, Lucetta proceeds to love whomever she wants however she pleases. Then the town somehow learns of Lucetta's past relationship with Henchard, whereupon they make her the subject of a shameful "skimmity-ride" to mock her and Henchard.

  2. Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy present the reality of love.

    bring through the use of positive lexis such as ?moon?, ?light? and ?promises?. However, she does emphasise that these ?promises? are conditional, as care must be taken even when in love, as shown in ?the careful undressing of love?, as she presents the expression of love through physical intimacy.223 As

  1. How do the writers present sexuality and gender in Tales Of Ovid, Streetcar Named ...

    When the big Matron tries to subdue her physically on the floor, she never stops resisting until the Doctor gently offers her his arm like a real gentleman. Blanche?s dignified leaving further indicates her spiritual integrity, as critic Robert James Cardullo[25] claims ?Blanche?s ascension from crucifix pinioning on the floor

  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which Shakespeare, Plath, and Winterson present characters on ...

    show in such a form as seen in The Bell Jar, however, Hamlet's words do deploy a harsh and psychologically violent message to Ophelia and add to her grief. Unlike Ophelia, Esther is subjected to actual violence when Marco attempts to rape her.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work