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Archived Group Reads 2018 > Vanity Fair: Week 3: Chapters 19–27

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message 1: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Mar 17, 2018 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
The battle for influence over poor old Miss Crawley carries on in this segment with the overzealous Mrs Bute attempting quite successfully to poison the old lady’s mind against Rawdon and Becky, discharging all the ‘ammunition’ that she’s been collecting but in the process nearly killing the old lady with her ministrations. Mrs Bute didn’t quite realise where to draw the line. Not surprisingly, Miss Crawley revolts, but now she seems equally offended with both parties, and neither seems any more likely than the other to get their hands on her money. Good luck or bad, Becky showed she could take a joke.

Meanwhile Dobbin has influenced George to go ahead with his marriage to Amelia while his father is busy making a match for him with the very rich Miss Swartz, also formerly of Miss Pinkerton’s establishment. While the rest of George’s family in this episode is quite the typical inhabitant of Vanity Fair, George seems to not to be―though his reaction may possibly have been very different were it not for her origin, and well to put it rather bluntly, ‘colour’. Of course he is also enjoying being adored by Amelia and quiet and insipid though she may be in some ways, she can make a good impression on others and will be a pretty bride to have on his arm. The marriage goes through with Jos giving away the bride, but George is now disinherited but for £2000. (I thought Amelia’s naiveté about money a bit much). And quite contrary to George’s hopes that his father will eventually relent, Mr Osborne seems to have taken this hard even erasing George’s name from the family bible.

Meanwhile Amelia and her case continues to puzzle in some ways―while it seems at times that she ‘knows’ what George is really like, she chooses to be blind to his faults (here I found myself comparing her to Mr Gibson who adopted this deliberate blindness, but in Amelia’s case, her love is of course real and much deeper, unlike Mr G where there was really no question of love). But more puzzling is what Thackeray is trying to say for so far it seemed if one chose the things Vanity Fair valued―money, position―happiness wouldn’t be in one’s lot but here we have Amelia (and indeed George) who has done quite the opposite, and yet what lies ahead doesn’t seem all that happy either.
[** I realise this sounds a bit naive but what I was trying to get at is if pursuing what VF values and what is seen as having 'real' value can equally bring unhappiness, is it so bad to pursue the VF path?]

And Amelia’s opinions about herself as not worthy of George, I wonder what to make of those, self-deprecating in a way, and yet perhaps there is a hint of truth, not in her being unworthy (for that is certainly the other way around), but more about them not quite being suited.

So both our couples Rawdon and Becky and George and Amelia find themselves in more or less the same boat (and the same place Brighton, where the latter are honeymooning and the former hovering about waiting for a chance to see Miss Crawley, or rather bring her back on their ‘side’), their inheritances or expectations lost (at least for the present), though George and Amelia have something to see them through, George’s habits and lack of foresight seem to indicate that this will not be the case for long.

Dobbin meanwhile has his own doubts about whether he has done right by ‘encouraging’ this marriage, something the reader wonders too, but for him it was a question of seeing Amelia happy, and this was indeed the only way.

The hint of war to come in the last segment has developed further in this one and our three ‘heroes’ though this novel has none are preparing to head to Belgium, and our heroines are accompanying them. Amelia seems to have made a place for herself in the regiment at least, but how will things fare once they get there? For so far, it seems as though preparations are being made for a holiday rather than actual war.


Nina Clare | 135 comments Lady Clementina wrote: But more puzzling is what Thackeray is trying to say for so far it seemed if one chose the things Vanity Fair valued―money, position―happiness wouldn’t be in one’s lot but here we have Amelia (and indeed George) who has done quite the opposite, and yet what lies ahead doesn’t seem all that happy either.
[** I realise this sounds a bit naive but what I was trying to get at is if pursuing what VF values and what is seen as having 'real' value can equally bring unhappiness, is it so bad to pursue the VF path?]

Interesting thoughts,Lady Clementina. Perhaps Thackeray is saying that having money and pursuing happiness aren't bad things in themselves, just so long as they are not gained at the expense of others. It's when money, position, marriage become idols that they are all pursued in vain. Amelia doesn't make an idol out of money or status, but she does make an idol out of George.



message 3: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Nina wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: But more puzzling is what Thackeray is trying to say for so far it seemed if one chose the things Vanity Fair valued―money, position―happiness wouldn’t be in one’s lot but he..."

Perhaps he means one not to make idols of anything- that's what brings unhappiness- George (love) or money.


Nina Clare | 135 comments Lady Clementina wrote: Perhaps he means one not to make idols of anything- that's what brings unhappiness- George (love) or money.

Absolutely! I think that is what he is saying.


Lois | 186 comments I'm enjoying these sections; Thackeray's intrusions as the narrator don't bother me as much now. I like how he says something offending or sweet and asks us readers (JONES or Miss Smith) not to judge too harshly..lol.

Like when he said this in Chap 25:
The future, had she regarded it, offered a dismal prospect; but Emmy was too shy, so to speak, to look to that, and embark alone on that wide sea, and unfit to navigate it without a guide and protector. I know Miss Smith has a mean opinion of her. But how many, my dear Madam, are endowed with your prodigious strength of mind?

Thackeray puts words in our mouths, that we (as pretend-correspondents to the serialized pieces of his story) could care less about Amelia, thinking her "fade and insipid" (from Chap 12) but at the same time, he also gives her insight and justifies her choices owing to be "too shy" to act otherwise.

I think this is due to the nature of a dependent personality. I found her visit back home after Brighton particularly sad given that she's already started regretting leaving her parents in their current state to be wrapped in George's world because: "Love had been her faith hitherto; and the sad, bleeding disappointed heart began to feel the want of another consoler." (Chap 26) Now that she has it, she sees that the foundation is cracked.

When bound by such thoughts it is natural IMO to think the fault lies in oneself and thus, to give all the power to the more charming one in the relationship. That's what Amelia does, putting George on a pedestal he doesn't deserve to be on.

Meanwhile as much as George's reaction at the end of the previous section surprised me, his actions in this section stayed true to his character that I had come to believe, once of course it was revealed who and what had motivated his change of heart in the first place.

Even though I felt Thackeray was trying to insert some hint of honourability into the man when it came to love (forcing me to see it in that light) he goes and balances it out with equal parts stubbornness and racism. Maybe it's just me but I get the feeling that George's opinion of Miss Swatrz is actually meant to be a bit contradictory to his true feelings had he allowed her millions to reel him in - I get the same sense with his opinion of Becky and don't think Amelia is entirely wrong to feel jealous of her.

For that reason, I don't feel that I should find Dobbin anymore admirable, because after all, Thackeray says that this is "a novel without a hero". I suppose I must feel sorry for him that Amelia is not attracted to him at all and all the while he does everything putting her first in mind.

And for all his faults, I found the part where old Mr Osborne is reminiscing about the past, going through all of the reminders of George's childhood he had in his office, quite sad.


Lois | 186 comments P.S: I love how Miss Crawley wisely sussed out that it was Becky who behind that letter that Rawdon wrote; I had a good laugh at Becky's expense. Ironic that initially Miss C had hoped that Rawdon would marry someone poor but once she sees Becky for who she is, of course it is anyone but her! LOL.

Rawdon is a fool in love; even when he doubts Becky's motives, he's much too charmed by her.


message 7: by Lois (last edited Mar 18, 2018 04:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Perhaps he means one not to make idols of anything- that's what brings unhappiness- George (love) or money."

And I'll add, as long as one's motives are pure (I mean, genuinely nice people with nothing grey about about them unlike these characters), then their pursuit of that VF path won't be in vain.

I think that's why Dobbin is not the hero in this story, because even though he's not necessarily on the VF path, his motives are not entirely without blemish (by constantly having Amelia on his mind).


message 8: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Mar 18, 2018 08:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Perhaps he means one not to make idols of anything- that's what brings unhappiness- George (love) or money."

And I'll add, as long as one's motives are pure (I mean, genuin..."


Fair enough but whether our characters have pursued the VF path or not, at the end of it all, the ones who's motives are realised (the second Lady Crawley, for instance or even Amelia), then as is the case in real life, irrespective of path or motive, what you realise is that this wasn't what they expected it to be- status and wealth brought for Lady Crawley a brute of a husband who wasn't above beating her; for Amelia, her faith in love and her perfect George doesn't look as though it is going to bring her much happiness either. In fact as you pointed out in your other comment, it is already beginning to show.


message 9: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "I'm enjoying these sections; Thackeray's intrusions as the narrator don't bother me as much now. I like how he says something offending or sweet and asks us readers (JONES or Miss Smith) not to jud..."

Re Dobbin's influence on George's marriage, I still wonder. I mean yes, obviously he managed to get George to take the final step, but I don't see George as the kind of person who would allow himself to be influenced to do what he simply didn't want to do. So while his motives may not have been 'love' in the sense that it was for Amelia, I still think that somewhere at least he would have wanted to go through with it. Perhaps as in Amelia's case (though in a different manner) being brought up his whole life thinking he was meant to marry her had some effect.

His reaction to Miss Swartz I felt may have been different if she wasn't a person of colour. I think George also was very concerned with appearance- so having a pretty Amelia on his arm had some value for him as well- perhaps combined with his 'feelings' for her (I still believe he had some irrespective of what kind), this was enough for him to not be tempted by the money. Then again, he was also sure his father would eventually relent.


message 10: by Lois (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Fair enough but whether our characters have pursued the VF path or not, at the end of it all, the ones who's motives are realised (the second Lady Crawley, for instance or even Amelia), then as is the case in real life, irrespective of path or motive, what you realise is that this wasn't what they expected it to be- ..."

Yes, very true; but to my point, it failed them because their intentions weren't pure.

Lady C left her lover for the allure of a title and a presumably better life (not only for herself but I assume for her iron-monger family as well); so her intentions weren't pure and as Nina pointed out, gained at the expense of others i.e. her lover.

Amelia, as you and Nina also pointed out, idolized George; so even if she wasn't on the path and had no ulterior motives, she worshipped her love for him to the point where she was willing to die and therefore failed in VF.


message 11: by Lois (last edited Mar 19, 2018 07:16AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Re Dobbin's influence on George's marriage, I still wonder. I mean yes, obviously he managed to get George to take the final step, but I don't see George as the kind of person who would allow himself to be influenced to do what he simply didn't want to do. So while his motives may not have been 'love' in the sense that it was for Amelia, I still think that somewhere at least he would have wanted to go through with it. Perhaps as in Amelia's case (though in a different manner) being brought up his whole life thinking he was meant to marry her had some effect."

I'm not so sure, Lady C. I mean, initially I thought that too, that he was doing it because he saw how pure Amelia's love was for him and how the just Dobbin made him see the light in doing the right thing.

But after reading that chapter with the dealings with Miss Swartz and his father, it seemed to me that he did it more to spite his father for his audacity in trying to pair him off with the mixed-race (oh the horror!) heiress. That combined with Dobbin's influence and Amelia's love propelled him to act.

The reason why I said that he might have been fronting when it came to Miss Swartz was because he seemed to have done the same with Becky; she was not worthy enough to be a part of his supposed familial 'image' but in Brighton he seemed to be enjoying her company.

So, I imagine that had he got to know Miss Swartz better (because he didn't shun her entirely having spent an evening talking to her albeit, about Amelia), he might have liked her in turn at least for her money, just as his sisters and father had.

Money talks! So you're right of course; he didn't anticipate being ostracized by his father. Had he taken that into account, he might have relented to his father's wishes for the sake of his very comfortable (even as a soldier) life.

In fact, the anguish that the letter brought him in being cut off from his debonair ways, is what in my view, caused a waning of feelings towards Amelia (which wasn't all that strong in the first place anyway) and what makes me believe that his motives in marrying her weren't entirely selfless. I think he used Amelia's love for him as a means of justifying his behaviour to Miss Swartz, Dobbin, his father and even to himself.


message 12: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Mar 19, 2018 07:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Re Dobbin's influence on George's marriage, I still wonder. I mean yes, obviously he managed to get George to take the final step, but I don't see George as the kind of pers..."

Well I didn't mean exactly that he appreciated the depth of Amelia's love for himself, but more that being quite self centred, he liked being the object of her adoration - the feeling that someone (fairly worthwhile) would be waiting for him whenever HE chose to come home/back to her- and at the same time he was free to go about doing as he liked. Plus I got the feeling that he would have liked the thought of being a 'hero'- rescuing Amelia from 'death' - the way she was headed. But as far as love itself is concerned, I don't think his view of it was in the same sense as Amelia's or Dobbin's (even Rawdon Crawley's for that matter) and yet he wasn't as completely devoid of such feeling as say Becky.

Though I do agree somewhere the need to rebel against his father- show that he was more a gentleman than his father played a part as well.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Nina wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: But more puzzling is what Thackeray is trying to say for so far it seemed if one chose the things Vanity Fair valued―money, position―happiness wouldn’t be in one..."

Nina wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: But more puzzling is what Thackeray is trying to say for so far it seemed if one chose the things Vanity Fair valued―money, position―happiness wouldn’t be in one’s lot but he..."

You're both right.

I'm only on chapter 21, but I join the conversation, because if I don't, I'll miss it!
In fact, I'm a bit bored by this Vanity Fair. It's so easy to mock people's faults, and what does it bring? Perhaps, this can make me think, when I look at myself in the mirror: well, am I not a bit selfish or niggard or hypotrical? Ok, then this book reminds me to try to be better, it's a good thing, but... 1000 pages, isn't it a bit too long for only one purpose?

And second, I find it more interesting to read a story about characters who have a beautiful soul, a beautiful spirit ... I prefer to look upwards to try to elevate myself than to look down to be able to say: ok, I'm not so bad! I feel it's like voyeurism (English?).

But I keep on reading! :)


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "I'm enjoying these sections; Thackeray's intrusions as the narrator don't bother me as much now. I like how he says something offending or sweet and asks us readers (JONES or Miss Smith) not to jud..."

Amelia is a character I understand. IMO, she does not have a great regard for herself, so it's normal she waits for someone to love her, instead of thinking: I deserve to be loved, because I'm me, and I can choose who's the best for me!
It's so difficult for some persons to think they're worth being known. It's mostly due to how one has been seen in one's childhood and youth: without being badly treated, there are children which haven't been cared about, because they are silent and don't ask for anything, so adults think they don't need anything. These children end up thinking that they do not matter. Some people get rid of this thought one day, some don't.
For the moment (chapter 21 for me!) Amelia hasn't.


message 15: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "And second, I find it more interesting to read a story about characters who have a beautiful soul, a beautiful spirit .."
There aren't very many likeable characters in this one aren't they- yet they have faults that we have too, even if in a more extreme form


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments I am not sure if I am misinterpreting the discussion about the characters in the book who are motivated by “vanity fair" but I don’t think Thackeray meant to hold up their behavior or motivation as a positive role model. Vanity goes along with greed, egotistical behavior, lying and so on as exemplars of immoral behavior. The fact that any success in life comes to people who are motivated by such factors seems Thackeray’s ironic comment upon society.
While Amelia and Dobbin aren’t motivated by vanity, etc., they are also weak people who often accord too much power to those who are actually less honorable. Especially Amelia who dissolves into tears at the drop of a hat. It’s a mystery why she was so well liked at Miss Pinkertons when she is so intimidated by everyone around her.
Will Amelia and Dobbin find strength of character while maintaining their morals? Will all the vain and dishonorable characters get their comeuppance? Or is Thackeray’s pronouncement that there are no heroes in this novel a foreshadowing a different type of outcome?
I agree with Gabrielle that the faults exhibited by these characters are ones we have probably been guilty of to some extent. Hopefully we have some positive attributes as well!


message 17: by Lois (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Amelia is a character I understand. IMO, she does not have a great regard for herself, ... It's mostly due to how one has been seen in one's childhood and youth: without being badly treated, there are children which haven't been cared about, because they are silent and don't ask for anything, so adults think they don't need anything. These children end up thinking that they do not matter. Some people get rid of this thought one day, some don't. ... "

I too can understand, and in fact, relate to Amelia, Gabrielle. She's an introvert preferring family over parties and she wears her heart on her sleeve (traits that I share myself :P).

And you're right; it is mostly because of her upbringing. That combined with her docile nature to begin with, makes her a rather weak character in most people's eyes but totally believable character just the same. In all of Thackeray's caricatures he drawn so far, dare I say that she is perhaps the most humane of the lot?


message 18: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I am not sure if I am misinterpreting the discussion about the characters in the book who are motivated by “vanity fair" but I don’t think Thackeray meant to hold up their behavior or motivation as..."

Er- not quite what I was trying to say- more questioning whether his message would be stronger (though less realistic) if those that weren't following the VF path had at least some happiness in their lot. And therefore what his message is overall.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Amelia is a character I understand. IMO, she does not have a great regard for herself, ... It's mostly due to how one has been seen in one's childhood and youth: without being bad..."

If you prefer to see the beautiful side of life, then, yes, Amelia is the most human. But if, perhaps like Thackeray, you have little faith in human nature, and you think that humans are vile beings, then Amelia is the least human! :)


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Re Dobbin's influence on George's marriage, I still wonder. I mean yes, obviously he managed to get George to take the final step, but I don't see George as the kind of pers..."

I think Osborne still doesn't love Amelia:
First, old Osborne told his son to marry Amelia, and Roger doesn"t marry her, as we've seen.
Second, Amelia falls into disgrace and it is at this moment that Roger finds in her all the graces of the world!
Third the father tells the son not to marry Amelia, and Roger wants to marry her.
For me, even if Roger says he wants to marry Amelia because he finds her beautiful and honnest and kind, and blablabla, I think he's deceiving himself unconsciously.
He only wants to go against his father's will, because he's got a problem with his father:

Osborne father hasn't any "education", civilised manners..., so he can't be part of the bright and old high English Society, neither can his son because of who is his father. But the father has the money, and the son likes money, and depends on him for this. Even if Osborne son's behaviour is wrong, his dilemma is truly unbearable for him. He must respect his father because he succeed in earning money, but he doesn't respect him, because he xould like him to be somewhere else.
I mean, after all, he's just a son, the child of his father. And often, children would like their parents to be else than what they are, to be netter, to have no defaults. And for Osborne son, having no defaults would be for his father to be part of the aristocratic high society.
And Osborne father himself would like this, but he's unable to change and this makes him angry. Even if, this is not the "good" way to live: he should accept himself as he is, he would be much more happy. Because when you accept yourself, you also accept others (poor Amelia for example).

No time for corrections, I post, sorry!


message 21: by Lois (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "If you prefer to see the beautiful side of life, then, yes, Amelia is the most human. But if, perhaps like Thackeray, you have little faith in human nature, and you think that humans are vile beings, then Amelia is the least human! :)"

LOL.

But, does Thackeray paint Amelia to be "least human" of the lot?? Hmm...

I know Thackeray is taking a satirical view of society and he does makes fun of Amelia but at the same time he also calls her sweet, and can be quite sorry for her to the point where I do genuinely feel that he too thinks (sometimes) that her tears are terribly moving.

"For me, even if Roger says he wants to marry Amelia because he finds her beautiful and honnest and kind, and blablabla, I think he's deceiving himself unconsciously.
He only wants to go against his father's will, because he's got a problem with his father: ..."


Yes, that is what I think as well, Gabrielle; I tried saying the same in my posts above. :)

"No time for corrections, I post, sorry!"

Lol...I think you mean 'George' instead of Roger, Gabrielle :p

I also think that George - who is so used to getting his own way when it comes to his family and especially with his father - miscalculates just like Becky does because old Osborne (like Miss Crawley) firmly decides then and there that on this matter, he is to stand his ground, perhaps to teach George a big lesson; who of course won't understand because he's too selfish, spoilt, a delusional hero and an egotistical "wag".

However, like Amelia, he's a product of his upbringing and doesn't know any better.


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Linda wrote: "I am not sure if I am misinterpreting the discussion about the characters in the book who are motivated by “vanity fair" but I don’t think Thackeray meant to hold up their behavior or..."

Thanks for clarifying. This is my first time reading Vanity Fair so in the realm of total conjecture...Perhaps Thackeray is leading Amelia and/or Dobbin to the edge of the abyss which will act as the impetus for action which leads to happiness. There is foreshadowing referring to Amelia not liking and not paying any attention to Dobbin-yet.
Another possibility is that Thackeray intentionally portrays the two flawed extremes of characters living the VF lifestyle and those who don't and it is up to the reader to conclude that both of these extremes leave much to be desired if one intends to lead a strong moral life.


message 23: by Lois (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Linda wrote: "Another possibility is that Thackeray intentionally portrays the two flawed extremes of characters living the VF lifestyle and those who don't and it is up to the reader to conclude that both of these extremes leave much to be desired if one intends to lead a strong moral life."

Well said, Linda. Where I struggled to express the same, you have stated it so clearly! *clap*


message 24: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "Another possibility is that Thackeray intentionally portrays the two flawed extremes of characters living the VF lifestyle and those who don't and it is up to the reader to conclude t..."

(joins in the applause)


message 25: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "If you prefer to see the beautiful side of life, then, yes, Amelia is the most human. But if, perhaps like Thackeray, you have little faith in human nature, and you think that hum..."

Since I've also been reading Wives and Daughters to catch up where I feel behind- for a moment there I didn't even think who Roger was- and then realised- wasn't he in the other book :)


message 26: by Lois (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments LOL! Roger Hamley, Osborne Hamley from W&D and now George Osborne and Rawdon Crawley...phew. #fridayfeeling ;)

Speaking of names though, I chuckle every time Thackeray introduces us to a new character. I've just been reading about Mr Creamer, the doctor, General Glanders and Podger's pills, and Pokey's elixir! :D


message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "Another possibility is that Thackeray intentionally portrays the two flawed extremes of characters living the VF lifestyle and those who don't and it is up to the reader to conclude t..."

Thanks. Sometimes I'm able to express my thoughts coherently! Having discussions via post has some obstacles like thinking you are being clear in your writing when you're not or relaying a tone you didn't intend. All things easily and quickly cleared up (or not a problem to begin with) when having a verbal discussion. Same pitfalls as email. But at least we are helping to prevent writing from devolving to total twitter.


message 28: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "LOL! Roger Hamley, Osborne Hamley from W&D and now George Osborne and Rawdon Crawley...phew. #fridayfeeling ;)

Speaking of names though, I chuckle every time Thackeray introduces us to a new cha..."


:) I love these fun names too- as I do Trollope's Omicron Pie and Lamda Mewnew, Mr Bideawhile - and Dickens' Mr Chokeumchild (sorry about the spellings- I think they'll all wrong)


message 29: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "Another possibility is that Thackeray intentionally portrays the two flawed extremes of characters living the VF lifestyle and those who don't and it is up to the reader ..."

I seem to have the opposite problem- when I can think and write about something I'm clearer (though even then I could be confusing) than when I speak about it.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "LOL! Roger Hamley, Osborne Hamley from W&D and now George Osborne and Rawdon Crawley...phew. #fridayfeeling ;)

Speaking of names though, I chuckle every time Thackeray introduces us ..."


Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "If you prefer to see the beautiful side of life, then, yes, Amelia is the most human. But if, perhaps like Thackeray, you have little faith in human nature, and you think that hum..."

Ok... I allow all of you to laugh and make the fun of me for five minutes about my "Roger George Osborne Hamley"! :D


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments PS:
To simplify, Thackeray introduced us "characters": ... mostly all VF's characters! And some "good characters": Amelia, Dobbin.
Maybe the author's purpose is that some of them will change, because or despite the world they live in.
Already, George maybe tried while marrying Amelia, because I supposed, like Lois, I think? that he did this only to dislike his father, but this isn't said, is it? And even if he realizes hhe's bored after one week marriage!
Already Dobbin changed: he calculates how to talk to Jane, and the conversation he has with her, letting her believe this conversation could be about him wanting to marry her! Wasn't Dobbin very manipulative and not kind at all regarding to Jane's feelings? Ouh! Bad, bad, bad!
Already Amelia changed: she feels jealousy about Becky in Brighton.

I don't know what Thackeray thinks, thought, but for me, never mind what the world is like around you, God has left us the Free Will, everyone must use it at best... PS: if it's not God, we have the choice to act according to our consciousness.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really moving. It’s a father’s sadness of having lost his child. The only thing is: if he hadn’t raised his child to be so selfish and cupid, he wouldn’t have lost him. He he sowed seeds of greediness and vanity and he harvested a plant whose sap is contempt and selfishness. Even if I think that it’s his fault, I have pity on him: his motivations were wrong, but his sadness is true.
Old Osborne really loved his son: he kept all his papers and letters:
“They were all marked and docketed, and tied with red tape. It was—"From Georgy, requesting 5s., April 23, 18—; answered, April 25"—or "Georgy about a pony, October 13"—and so forth. In another packet were "Dr. S.'s accounts"—"G.'s tailor's bills and outfits, drafts on me by G. Osborne, jun.," &c.”
He marked and docketed them, he who isn’t good at writing! How hurt he must have been by his son! But all he taught him returns against him, like a boomerang.

This said, as a mother, here’s my first thought: How can a father or a mother do this:
“Taking a pen, he carefully obliterated George's names from the page; and when the leaf was quite dry, restored the volume to the place from which he had moved it.”
It’s unbelievable for me! Even though I know two persons who did it… sad.


message 33: by Laurene (last edited Mar 24, 2018 06:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurene | 158 comments Was so proud of myself for reading this section ahead of time but then life happens -- how dare it when I am reading! :D

Enjoyed everyone's comments --- like I said before there should be a like button.

I am starting to think/believe Thackeray has a real sense of humor. For the most part, he has all his characters, with the exception of Miss Crawley and old Mr Osborne, fumbling around to get their hands on money --- and just when the characters think they might get close to the money--- he takes it away. I had to laugh at Mrs Bute Crawley being sent away from Miss C because Mr Crawley fell off his horse and broke his collar bone. Amelia packing all of their expensive items in case they could not pay their inn bill, I could only imagine their plans to sneak out at night because they could not pay their bill. Becky's plan to meet Ms. Briggs coming out of the water. The idea of Miss C, Mrs Bute Crawley, Amelia, George, Dobbin, Jos, Becky, Rawdon, Ms Briggs and Ms Fricken all ending up in Brighton. I was just shaking my head through it all


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Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: ":) I love these fun names too- as I do Trollope's Omicron Pie and Lamda Mewnew, Mr Bideawhile - and Dickens' Mr Chokeumchild (sorry about the spellings- I think they'll all wrong)"

LOL! I forgot to add, Miss Grains, the brewer's daughter! ;)

Like Laurene, I too am enjoying Thackeray's sense of humour. It took at least the first few chapters, but I'm really enjoying the book now. :)


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Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Ok... I allow all of you to laugh and make the fun of me for five minutes about my "Roger George Osborne Hamley"! :D"

;) We were commiserating with you, Gabrielle; all in good fun! :p

That section with Mr Osborne and George's old letters was one of the most moving sections of the book for me as well. There is another coming up in the next section, equally moving. Even if he's one of the most stubborn men out there, like you said, "his saddness is true".


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Linda | 115 comments Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Re Dobbin's influence on George's marriage, I still wonder. I mean yes, obviously he managed to get George to take the final step, but I don't see George as the kind of pers..."

Late to this thread of the conversation. I think George did impetuously go through with his marriage to Amelia as a reaction to his father's threatening to disinherit him if he didn't break off with Amelia and court Miss Swartz. However, he first resumes his relationship with Amelia because it does feed his ego. Someone who is behaves like a slave for him, who absolutely adores him. The feeling of power is overwhelmingly satisfying to George. That his commitment to Amelia cannot stand in the face of Becky's flirtations is disgusting but no surprise. Is he trying to plant a seed in Amelia's mind about ending their marriage for her own good? He is trying hard to convince her a marriage without money would be too terrible a hardship for her. Of course Amelia declares she has no problem with poverty so that strategy doesn't seem to work. Will he come up with another scheme?


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "However, he first resumes his relationship with Amelia because it does feed his ego. Someone who is behaves like a slave for him, who absolutely adores him...."

Those were my thoughts exactly- he has some sort of feeling for her (because he wouldn't have felt bad at giving her up otherwise) but what impelled him to go back I thought too was the idea of having someone who was pretty much a slave to him- waiting for hi, to fuss over him whenever he chose to come or needed it while for the rest he could do just what he liked. Then also she was a pretty creature - and the idea of having her on his arm- showing her off- would have also appealed.


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Laurene, Lois- glad you're enjoying the book.


message 39: by Lois (last edited Mar 25, 2018 05:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Linda wrote: "The feeling of power is overwhelmingly satisfying to George. That his commitment to Amelia cannot stand in the face of Becky's flirtations is disgusting but no surprise. Is he trying to plant a seed in Amelia's mind about ending their marriage for her own good?"

I don't think George is acting entirely egotistically towards Amelia when he flirts with Rebecca. It is more like second-nature to him (to string and be strung); and given that Amelia hasn't seen his true flirtatious nature in his daily dealings, be it at the opera house or wherever his fancy takes him, she is not aware of its extent and impact.

(And she might have been equally amazed as I was at how this woman who he seemed not to like enough to be joined as relations was now holding his attention.)

So, he might not have been entirely conscious of his commitment towards her at that very moment on the balcony. Or perhaps indeed I should say, given his dealings with his father's lawyers, that he wasn't as committed - at least not to the level he was when he married her a few days ago!

Re his love for her though, I do agree to a certain extent given his nature, that he enjoyed the attention Amelia had given him (when he chose to be with her) prior to their marriage. But there is something more in his confession to Miss Swartz in Chap 21 that makes me feel that he felt guilty too for the pureness of her love:

"Who's to prevent me?" George cried out. "I will speak of her. I say she's the best, the kindest, the gentlest, the sweetest girl in England; and that, bankrupt or no, my sisters are not fit to hold candles to her. If you like her, go and see her, Miss Swartz; she wants friends now; and I say, God bless everybody who befriends her. Anybody who speaks kindly of her is my friend; anybody who speaks against her is my enemy. Thank you, Miss Swartz"; and he went up and wrung her hand.

Maybe he was stirring up his emotions convincing himself that he did love her when he was aware of the truth that he was undeserving of it.


Laurene | 158 comments Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really moving. It’s a father’s sadness of ha..."

Gabrielle -- I missed your comment. I absolutely agree --- how could he take his pen and scratch it out of the family Bible. To think he could actually walk away and split all ties from his son. This to me is completely heartbreaking.


Laurene | 158 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Linda wrote: "However, he first resumes his relationship with Amelia because it does feed his ego. Someone who is behaves like a slave for him, who absolutely adores him...."

Those were my thought..."


Absolutely agree!


Laurene | 158 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene, Lois- glad you're enjoying the book."
Once I got use to Thackeray's style of writing --- I read somewhere that he wrote Vanity Fair as a puppet master -- and I absolutely agree that his novel is a stage with him toying with his puppets.


message 43: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really moving. It’s a fath..."

People do terrible things in anger- perhaps allowing their egos to get the better of them- I have heard of such things in real life too- not cutting names out the bible exactly but people simply not speaking to or seeing each other for years, not having any contact or connection over things that turn out to be very minor at the end of the day.


message 44: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Laurene wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene, Lois- glad you're enjoying the book.""

:)


Laurene | 158 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really mov..."

I wish I could say that I did not know anyone who has done this also but unfortunately I know a few. :(


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really moving. It’s a fath..."

Like button!


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Laurene wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All ..."

Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and papers… All this scene is really mov..."

I also know some people who did it. And it lasted qll their life long. What a strange and sad thing to live an entire life in anger...


Laurene | 158 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs ..."

Like button!


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1062 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Laurene wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "On chapter 24, I have pity on old Mr. Osborne the father, when he opens the drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs ..."

I don't understand how they let their egos get in the way to that extent.


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Renee M | 1877 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "P.S: I love how Miss Crawley wisely sussed out that it was Becky who behind that letter that Rawdon wrote; I had a good laugh at Becky's expense. Ironic that initially Miss C had hoped that Rawdon ..."

Me, too! It made me laugh. I agree that Rawdon seems genuinely taken with Becky. In some ways they seem well suited. If they can only get a steady source of income they might live quite well together.


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