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By Clyde De L. Ryals

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He addresses "ladies" (p. 48) and "young ladies" (pp. 172, 652) on matters of taste and decorum and, as we shall presently see, he constantly speaks to the reader. Third, while commenting at length on the morality of Vanity Fair, the narrator anticipates and attempts to ward off disparaging comments that might be made about the work at hand: [Certain] details, I have no doubt, JONES, who reads this book at his Club, will pronounce to be excessively foolish, trivial, twaddling, and ultrasentimental.

In his discussions and correspondence with Elizabeth Barrett in 1845— 46, when the subject of religion arose from time to time, it mainly 50 The Way of Browning's "Christmas-Eve" concerned the observances and forms of worship Christianity may take. She confessed, fairly early in their acquaintance, that she was from a dissenting background although not really interested in sectarianism as such, "hating as I do . all that rending of the garment of Christ, & caring very little for most dogmas & doxies in themselves & believing that there is only one church in heaven & earth, with the one divine High Priest to it" (Kintner, 1:141).

35). 16 The "historian's" early claim to omniscience is, finally, shown to be baseless. 17 Language, both oral and written, is not to be trusted. As Carlyle discovered when writing his history, what a speaker reveals about a certain situation is but an account from his or her own angle of vision. And egoists that we humans are—whether Becky, Amelia, or any of the other actors at the fair—we see what we want to see and put into words that which shows us to best advantage in our quest for social mobility.

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