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Tom Wolfes book The Bonfire of the Vanities certainly can be seen as a reflection of the attitudes concerns and events of the latter part of the twentieth century Tom Wolfe says himself that his aim for this book was to write a realistic novel that crammed as much as of New York City between covers as you could Tom Wolfe The Bonfire Of The Vanities Introduction 1979 In doing this Tom Wolfe has created a novel firmly fixed in both a time and a place This sense of time and place as much as the plot and characters contributes to a novel that deals with many late twentieth century themes The themes and concerns of the late twentieth century that are looked at in the book include wealth the gap between rich and poor the importance of image presenting well to the world a preoccupation with sexuality roles of minority groups race issues law and order the justice system the role and significance of the media city living basically life in New York and the corruption of political systems and politicians The theme of image is a very important idea in society and this is reflected in the book in many ways The main way is through the image of the characters and most of all the image of the main character Sherman MaCoy Sherman is a character that by our societies standards has it all A high paying job on wall street and therefore money a big house a wife and beautiful daughter and an attractive young girlfriend Through this perception and image of Sherman Tom Wolfe is reflecting the image of a whole class structure that is the class structure of the rich He also gives us a direct contrast to this by portraying the characters that are not so successful For example the Jewish lawyer named Kramer Kramer is portrayed as a hard-nosed lawyer who is living in
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