bonfire of the vanities shmoop

In any case, she says, as long as Sherman’s already in trouble, he might as well do something wrong to deserve it .

The predominately African-Americancrowd is not friendly, and the white, Jewish mayor is heckled and booed as a “Chuck” or “Charlie”—a white bigot.

The book opens in Harlem, where the unnamed mayor of New York is holding a town-hall meeting. Still, he and Judy were in love once, and now he feels rotten for hurting her. What does it all really accomplish? Though Sherman gets off through a trick involving a fraudulent taped conversation, he is not free of legal woes. After his mistress runs over a young teen, a Wall Street hotshot sees his life unravel in the spotlight and attracting the interest of a down and out reporter. As the Mayor attempts to take control and share budget statistics with them, someone shouts, “Don’t percentage no annual budget with us, man! The Bonfire of the Vanities study guide contains a biography of Tom Wolfe, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The first two chapters describe the scene in high-class and low-class neighborhoods. . Wall Street was booming, and the rich became richer than ever before. New York City in the 1980s was considerably more dangerous than it is in the twenty-first century, and Wolfe’s description of the crime-riddled Bronx and dangerous subways would not be as accurate today. Inside the building, an alarm goes off, possibly warning of an escaped prisoner. Behind his wife's back, McCoy is conducting an affair with a younger woman, Maria, the socialite wife of another Park Avenue millionaire. Both an artistic proposition and a fashion label, BOV aims to tell the story of its generation, the globally connected urban youth. GradeSaver, 17 April 2007 Web. It is still a glorious edifice, adorned with classical figures in sculpture and bas-relief—a temple of Justice and Law standing in a lawless urban jungle, the Rock of Gibraltar in a perilous Sargasso Sea. Those who had it flaunted it. His classmate has obviously gotten rich working in a big Manhattan law firm, while Kramer himself is barely getting by working in the Bronx. Anxiously, he tells Maria about his blunder, but she laughs it off. In the Bronx, even the police don’t want to go out to eat their lunch in the park because of the high rate of crime. Judy and Maria are the two main female characters in the tale. Not affiliated with Harvard College. is the premier free source for literary analysis on the web. The Bonfire of the Vanities study guide contains a biography of Tom Wolfe, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Why did he turn tail and run?

Now, with the TV cameras rolling, he realizes to his horror that the bad press will very likely cost him the next election. is continually in the process of adding more books to the website each week. What happens to the Mayor onstage foreshadows what will happen in the rest of the novel. "McCoy makes a million dollars per annum on Wall Street.He is married to Judy McCoy, and they live with their six-year-old daughter on Park Avenue while maintaining a weekend house in Southampton, Long Island. The Prologue and Chapters 1–2 introduce the setting of Wolfe’s novel—New York City in the 1980s—and the themes of racial and ethnic hatred, vanity, and greed. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments or would like any additional information.

Now he has lost for certain. (Incidentally, the first black mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, would be elected to office in 1990.) Sherman thinks resentfully about Judy. Yo, Hymie!” Shocked, the Mayor begins to suspect he has been set up, that the hecklers in the crowd are no ordinary citizens but shills placed there by Reverend Bacon, a vocal African-American activist who would like nothing better to see the Mayor out of office.

Prologue and Chapters 1-2. While Sherman struggles, his wife Judy comes to suggest that she take the dog out instead while he reads a book to their six-year-old daughter, Campbell. In fact, Sherman is headed out to call his mistress, Maria Ruskin, on the telephone.

Kramer avoids him, embarrassed to be seen in shabby clothes. The Bonfire of the Vanities, set in New York City in the nineteen eighties, has as its protagonist Sherman McCoy, a self-dubbed "Master of the Universe. Please check back weekly to see what we have added.

Sherman ends up indicted for the crime after his mistress Maria and the other witnesses lie to legal authorities. The Mayor turns tail when the town hall meeting gets ugly, McCoy hangs up on his wife, and Kramer, the tough young prosecutor, runs scared from a vanful of prisoners.

The result is a laughable circus—the “people” (shills for Bacon) accuse the Mayor of racism against them, while at the same time shouting anti-Semitic slurs at the Mayor.

He hasn’t been able to work out recently because there is no space in the apartment with the nanny there.

Sherman has a gorgeous mistress; Kramer has a fantasy. Sherman snaps at her in anger and heads out the door, feeling guilty. Much of the action of the story takes place in the extremely decadent world of Park Avenue in the 1980s. Whites are becoming a minority in the urban areas, making it difficult for them to continue holding all the positions of power. One night, after picking her up from the airport, they make a wrong turn into the Bronx.

Infidelity isn’t such a big deal; she never hides her affairs from her husband. She doesn’t believe him, and goes crying off to bed.

Meanwhile, his Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case, Larry Kramer, wrestles with serious self-esteem issues. Wolfe’s goal was to write a novel of social realism about modern-day urban America in the manner of nineteenth-century novelists Dickens, Zola, and Balzac. All his assets are appropriated or frozen, and his wife and child leave him.

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