Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



The writer having selected these novels, proposes to give a critical analysis of William Makepeace Thackeray's treatment of female characters in the novels (Vanity Fair, Henry Esmond and Pendennis) supporting with evidence the hypothesis that: the women he treated and the manner in which he treated them were influenced by the geographical setting in which the author wrote, the historical background of the age in which he lived, and his immediate environment.

It is assumed that: Thackeray wrote during a period and for a society created by the Industrial Revolution; that the characters he treated were products of this society; that Thackeray felt a novelist's responsibility to his reading public; and that his female characters were treated in a manner to please his readers and to adhere to Victorian restrictions on literature.

It is also assumed that Thackeray's personal unhappiness and his philosophies of life are reflected in his treatment of female characters.

For the purpose of this study the term treatment is extended to mean the author's method of controlling the speech and actions of the characters. Speech refers to the author's method of making known the conversations and expression of thoughts of the characters. The term actions refers to the author's method of making known the conduct and behavior of the characters. Characters are the members of the female sex appearing in the novels, Vanity Fair, Pendennis, and Henry Esmond.

Committee Chair/Advisor

F. B. Ledbetter


Prairie View A&M College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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