Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Mark  Haddon

Catherine  Stapleton 

The Transformations in Vogue Throughout the Decades

Outsiders Perspectives Causing Family Dysfunction in the Works of Mark Haddon

During the twentieth century, the fashion publisher of Vogue Conde Nast dreamed to “turn Vogue into the most fabulous magazine of style and fashion culture anywhere, ever.” During the economic boom of 1920 he started to achieve his goal, working with other key figures in the fashion industry. Both the economic boom and the employees of Vogue contributed to the magazine’s tremendous success. In 1928 the profit of the magazine rose from $11,600 to $150,000, which drove Nast to invest all of his profits in shares of stocks. All of his money was wiped out a year later in the stock market crash, which threatened him with the loss of his magazine. He had the willpower to keep his magazine alive, but he didn’t handle the stress well. He started to change as a person; it was affecting the changes in Vogue. The 1929 crash scarred Nast forever emotionally and physically. After his death Vogue came back together and lived on to be the highest ranked fashion magazine in the world.

Throughout Mark Haddon’s novels he portrays outside characters that have a distorted view of reality, which results in them facing difficult situations. Compared to Nast overcoming the Stock Market Crash, Haddon uses a sly sense of humor to portray complex scenarios that his characters go through. Some situations in his novels are so dramatic and unrealistic; it’s hard not to look at them as comical. The character George in Haddon’s novel A Spot of Bother comes in contact with unusual spots on his skin. When he goes to the hospital the doctor tells him that he has eczema, but he convinces himself that the professional is wrong and that he’s actually dying of cancer. So instead of taking the medicine prescribed to him, he dramatically tries to cut off his own skin. If he just accepted help then everything would have been fine, but his senseless, slightly humorous choice results in his being hospitalized and his family believing that he has gone insane.

Major Works Consulted:

Angeletti, Norberto, and Alberto Oliva. In Vogue: the illustrated history of the world's Most famous fashion magazine. New York: Rizzoli, 2006.
Baker, Patricia, and Robert Price. Fashions of a decade. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
Haddon, Mark. A Spot of Bother. New York: Random, 2006.
---The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Random, 2003.
Photo Credit: ---The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Random, 2003.