Seriously one of my most favorite books. Thackeray portrays his characters as people really are - flawed. That doesn't mean that they don't have their virtues, however.
The characters portray types of people that still exist in the world today. Amelia is dependent on another for her own happiness. George is vain and selfish, and is insensitive to the feelings of others. Miss Crawley is prejiduce, but won't admit it. Jos Sedley is selfish, and a slave to his appetites. Georgy is spoiled. Mr. Osbourne is proud. Dobbin is unselfish and won't stick up for himself. Becky will be the center of attention (and rich) at all costs, especially to others. I have never loved to hate a character so much in my entire life, in her case.
This book makes a lot of good points about life, and though I'm not a cynic, I think it's edifying to read this and realize things you can improve upon. It is an excellent critique of society and reinforces my belief that worldliness never was happiness.