Vanity Fair Textual Puzzle

At the beginning of Chapter 36, Thackeray discusses how people are able to live on “nothing a year” (340).  I found this concept very interesting, given the fact that money is such a big focus throughout the novel.  Rawdon and Rebecca do not have an income, yet they are able to live comfortably.  Since this is the first mention of such a lifestyle in the novel, it would be interesting to see how common such a style of living actually was during the Victorian era.  People who have inherited large amounts of money do not have to work, but neither Rebecca nor Rawdon inherited enough money to be able to live comfortably.  Considering the fact that they entertained so much, how many people would have been aware that they did not have any money?  There is always the possibility that people would not have respected them as much, or even wanted to be at their house for a party.  Money is such a large part of society in Vanity Fair, whenever an unusual event happens concerning the characters and money, it is brought to light because it does not exactly match up with the rest of what is going on in the novel.

14 thoughts on “Vanity Fair Textual Puzzle

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