Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chapters 11 – 20: discussion topics

In the comments I post some topics I find interesting in Chapters 11 through 20. I’m avoiding spoilers, so feel free to read the comments as you get to these chapters. Add comments with topics you find interesting. I hope this helps spur some discussion!

1 comment:

Chrees said...

Again, these are just a few things I’m having fun mulling over as I read this section of the book. Feel free to add your own enjoyments.

The Crawley family seems to have put the fun in dysfunctional. The role of money/wealth in their relations to each other is a fun dynamic to watch.

Also interesting to see is how the women in the novel treat other women, and how the roles of wealth, standing, and age impact their actions.

George and Dobbin are contrasted physically in Chapter 5. Does that contrast between the two seem to carry over to other areas of their lives?

The book is full of wooing in the foreground and war in the background. But look at some of the language used to describe the former: “skirmishes,” “campaign,” and “routed” in one section, obviously meant to compare it to the latter. How much of this pervades other parts of the story?

Chapter 9 gives a brief overview of Lady Crawley and her history. Thackeray does not seem to hold a high opinion of her, painting her as having sold her soul for a chance to belong in Vanity Fair. Is this too harsh? How does Lady Crawley differ from other characters in the book attempting the same thing?

The narrator’s omniscience seems to falter at times, while at other times he deliberately misleads or surprises you. How much of a character is the narrator in the book?

OK, that’s a start…