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The development path of the rich second generation in Britain in the past

  In my spare time recently, I revisited Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. “Vanity Fair” was published in 1847. The real theme of the novel was to portray the vulgarity of the emerging British bourgeoisie in the first half of the nineteenth century. The specific national conditions of a specific historical stage. Therefore, readers can choose to cut in from different angles, and today, they can still get fresh feelings.
   Britain’s relationship with its colonies, especially with India, is an extremely important historical content. “Vanity Fair” just unintentionally revealed how the bourgeoisie used imperial colonial activities and colonial space to transform social identity and upgrade social strata; how imperial colonial activities used the bourgeoisie to create new types of social groups, such as bureaucrats, occupations Soldiers and Humanists.

  The colony, like a workshop, transforms the children of merchant families into an army of talents needed by the empire.

   In the novel, the first generation of successful British businessmen, big and small, all yearned for aristocratic status and high society. The three main male characters came from three wealthy families. Their fathers were all self-made and accumulated huge wealth by doing business. The same strategy was adopted: to turn the “rich second generation” into “high-class people” at any cost, and to break away from the business class. The colony, like a workshop, transforms the children of merchant families into an army of talents needed by the empire.
  The road taken by Joseph, the son of the Sethli family, can probably be regarded as “transfer from official to official.” A high-ranking official, the novel jokingly calls him an “Indian official” and a “Bengali gentleman”, a fat errand along the way.
   Another important path is to join the army. Among them, Otto was the most successful. He was born in a small Irish squire. He “had fought all over the world and contributed to the king”. He was finally knighted by military exploits and entered the palace with his wife and sister to meet the king. In this way, war and colonization provided opportunities for adventure and ascent, and forged a formidable military machine for the British Empire.
   What interests me most is that the author also writes about another type of transformation. It is easy for readers to think that the setting of the character Dobbin is just to make Amelia have a beautiful love. In fact, the author’s writing skills are exquisite, and he tells the story of Dobin’s relationship with Amelia. However, he mentions one sentence here, and there is a sentence that always reveals Doubin’s very unique growth model:
   his father In just 20 to 30 years, he developed from a milk grocer to a big industrialist with cross-border operations, became a deputy mayor, and was knighted; this wealthy businessman learned the social atmosphere and was determined to let his son break away from the bourgeoisie, so He sent his son to a school for children of rich families; Dubin joined the army as an adult and became an excellent soldier. He was motivated and eager to learn. The experience of serving in India inspired him to write “History of Punjab” after he retired as a colonel and became a master in the field of Oriental studies.
   In fact, a group of outstanding British scholars in the 19th century did have similar life trajectories. Service and work experience in the colonies often led them to engage in Oriental studies, and field experience became a valuable asset in their research.
   As a literary giant, Thackeray has reached a level that is beyond the reach of ordinary people: he deliberately adopts the bourgeois “people’s perspective”, and that perspective does not see the excellence of Dobbin at all. Just because Dobbin didn’t have the sassy and suave high-society demeanor and didn’t dress and live like a playboy, the class he came from looked down on him and thought he was worthless. The author’s writing is even more profound. Dubin is naturally simple and humble, and he does not realize that he has completely surpassed the group he was born in. On the contrary, he is full of identification with the environment in which he grew up, so he is always full of emotion and patient. Rolling around with boring familiar crowds and wasting countless hours.
   “Vanity Fair” is like an academic work called “Analysis of the Composition and Path of British Elites in the First Half of the 19th Century”. However, the novel is so interesting and vivid, without the boringness of academic research, but it uses the classic method of realism instead of analysis, and explains an important proposition very clearly.

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