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This extract from Vanity Fair by William Thackeray follows the interaction of several characters, namely, Mr Sedley, Miss Rebecca and Miss Amelia, where the attention is focused on Mr Sedleys hesitation.

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Introduction

Commentary: Vanity Fair This extract from Vanity Fair by William Thackeray follows the interaction of several characters, namely, Mr Sedley, Miss Rebecca and Miss Amelia, where the attention is focused on Mr Sedley's hesitation. Several characteristics of this passage are how the author has portrayed society, the way in which the author has expressed his characters, and the stylistic techniques of his writing. In this extract, Thackeray has used recollection and the surroundings to depict society. When Miss Rebecca began to ask questions about India, Mr Sedley replied and recounted all his memories. Through his recollection, we are able to gain an impression of what society was like due to his experiences. We are given the notion that Mr Sedley is part of the wealthy class due to his travel to India, "Miss Rebecca asked him a great number of questions about India, which gave him an opportunity of narrating many interesting anecdotes about that country and himself," as at that time (the book was written in 1847) ...read more.

Middle

The way in which Thackery has expressed his characters is also a characteristic of this passage. In this passage, Mr Sedley is shown as a timid person. However, for a brief moment, due to Miss Rebecca, he is no longer timid and hesitant, but talkative and brimming with confidence. The author has portrayed Mr Sedley as a stereotypical quiet character who cannot hold a conversation with the opposite sex, until Miss Rebecca comes along. We notice in the first line that, "almost for the first time in his life, Mr Sedley found himself talking, without the least timidity or hesitation," and again several times throughout the passage, "and as he talked on, he grew quite bold, and actually had the audacity to ask Miss Rebecca for whom she was knitting the green silk purse?" And if we still were not sure what sort of person he was, the author has used other characters to emphasise Mr Sedley's character, through Mr Osborne and Miss Amelia, "Did you ever hear anything like your brother's eloquence? ...read more.

Conclusion

Much of the narrative technique is a characteristic of this extract. The author has used long sentences, which allow him to elaborate upon the scene at hand, and also reflects upon their society. Another technique he employs is constant sign posting. He signals what is to come, and this is done with every new idea or aspect, "Sedley was going to make one of the most eloquent speeches possible." In doing this, it lacks the surprise; however, it reflects the society at the time, where everything was anticipated. Another characteristic of this extract is the authorial intrusion. Thackery lets the scene play out, then he adds in his authorial intrusion which is written in such a manner that it seems like common knowledge but really are his opinions. This is quite notable at the end of the extract, "For the affection of young ladies is of rapid growth as Jack's bean stalk, and reaches up to the sky in a night." In this extract from Vanity Fair by Thackeray, there are various noteworthy aspects of this passage. They are how the author has portrayed society, the way in which the author has expressed his characters, and the stylistic techniques of his writing. ...read more.

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