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Vanity Fair

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Hello,

 

I am reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray for English class. I have an assignment to discuss places in the book where setting makes embodies a character. I have a few ideas bouncing around, which I will discuss if anyone joins me in this topic, but first I have a question.

 

Do you believe setting can refer to both physical location as well as social setting (i.e. Rebecca's character is embodied by the lavish parties she attends, she perfectly fitted for the social scene of vanity fair)? 

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Vanity Fair is one of my favourite novels, though I never read it for English class! To be honest I've never really thought about the different settings of the book in great detail, but I'm totally willing to be part of some discussion of the settings. In terms of physical/social setting, I think both are probably relevant. Though I would think that the task is more about focussing on the physical settings and then their related or implied social settings - the example you gave is a good one, albeit it could be identify a specific party/ball. Ideally you can find a physical location which either literally or figuratively reveals a social setting as well, because looking at only how the physical characteristics of a setting embody a character can be quite boring! 

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Thank you for the advice. I'm having trouble with this, as I feel like I'm making things fit to the assignment, rather than finding places where it already fits, if that makes sense. I think I'll give the book another go through, and see if a second reading will make things clearer.

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Remember that "setting" is a wide concept: it includes cultural, historical, the era, class, profession ... even intellectual setting. Perhaps you already had some of these in mind for "social setting" but often this word is used in the very restricted sense "close social relations" and misses other aspects of the term.   

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