Vanity Fair

Teaching English is like exploring the world (its wonders, faults, and follies) with your students and discussing what makes each of us who we are.

Yesterday, I finished reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Making fun of society through six uniquely brilliant characters, this text contains, in my opinion, one of the greatest literary quotes in history, “The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.”

In short, what you give to the world is what you get back in return. I commonly say if you don’t like a piece of literature, you didn’t understand it. However, I want to take a moment and change this statement.

If one doesn’t enjoy a piece of literature, it is not because one doesn’t understand it. It is because one refuses to discover the author’s looking glass and question the reflection they have left in society.

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