Vanity Fair: still catching up - half way!
- I haven't been able to gallop through VF at my old pace as I am
back at work, plus I came in late. So I am only up to the battle of
Before it is really too late I wanted to post a few thoughts.
It really interests me the clever way Thackeray presents the
characters. Becky, R Crawley, George Osborne & so on are
viewed so tolerantly and their merits are not overlooked. None of
them is really wicked but none of them is good either & the
gentlemen especially are rather foolish. T presents them all as
just samples of human nature & does not appear to pass
judgement much. He makes us see that they are people we
would probably like if we met them. He justifies Becky's
behaviour by her previous experiences & her neediness.
Then, he presents two characters who are rather ridiculous.
They are William Dobbin & Peggy O'Dowd. Both are people we
might laugh at if we met them. The nice-but-not-good characters
do laugh at them. But here's where the cleverness comes in: by
their actions we come to realise these people are truly good. By
the end of the book we shall surely all love Dobbin & want him to
amrry Emmy. I doubt Mrs O'Dowd is in it much from now on but
she is still an example of goodness.
I'm not sure how Emmy fits into this structure. She is an almost
Dickensian paragon of all the virtues in some ways, but is
presented as a naive almost idiotic person who makes
ludicrous errors of judgement because of her youth &
inexperience. Becky would never have been taken in by George.
Does anyone else have a view on this matter?
- Sarah.. I think your thoughts are spot on and couldn't
have said it better myself (although I didn't think
Dobbin was laughable, more pathetic)
I watched the entire BBC miniseries and was very
impressed. It stuck closely to the story line and
made me think about the characters some more. It
showed how Becky just may have been innocent and just
got in over her head. It made Lord Steyne seem like a
creep. And Dobbin comes out the big hero. Anybody
else catch it?
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- And of course, (I haven't reached this yet but remember it from
last time), lest we still sympathise with Becky after her behaviour
with George, we get to see her neglecting her child. I'm sure
Thackery does this as he knows a sophisticated audience could
forgive her almost anything else.
I do remember the serial, it was pretty good.