Vanity Fair: Chapter 56,5,75,8,59,60,61,62,63

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Summary - Chapters Fifty Six, Fifty Seven, Fifty Eight, Fifty Nine, Sixty, Sixty One , Sixty Two and Sixty Three

Georgy is settling in at his grandfather Osborne’s home in Chapter Fifty Six. Osborne senior can now afford to make a gentleman of him and this has the effect of Georgy looking down on him. The narrator informs us that his previous humble education had been more successful in making him a gentleman. Georgy’s maternal grandmother (Mrs Sedley) dies and he is largely unaffected by this. The chapter ends with two men visiting him at school - one of whom is Dobbin.


Chapter Fifty Seven gives an explanation of how Osborne senior enjoys cursing ‘the old pauper’ (Sedley). He also lets Georgy know his feelings of contempt.


Amelia has been feeling as though she is in bondage as she cares for her bereaved father. The narrator hints her fortune will improve, however, as Joseph is the second man who was accompanying Dobbin on the visit to Georgy’s school. Their journey back to England is described and Dobbin has artfully suggested that Joseph takes care of Amelia and her son.


In Chapter Fifty Eight, their ship lands in England and Dobbin is keen to see his family and Amelia after 10 years of absence. She and her father are out walking when Dobbin arrives, and he learns from the landlord and his family that Mrs Sedley has died, Georgy is with his paternal grandfather and Amelia has not married.


When Joseph finally arrives in London, in Chapter Fifty Nine, he moves his sister and father into a new home and she takes her beloved piano. Dobbin realizes she cherishes it because she thinks Osborne bought it for her. After their conversation, she understands at last that it had been a gift from Dobbin. He then tells her he has loved her for 12 years, but she says she sees him only as a brother. She agrees it is alright for him to stay near her ‘and often’, though.


Georgy comes to stay with Amelia more often in Chapter Sixty and develops a bond with Dobbin. In Chapter Sixty One, Sedley is dying and Amelia tends to him. Osborne senior has been considering having a reconciliation with her, but it is not possible as Sedley dies and then he also becomes ill and dies. However, he manages to change his will. The terms of the will show that he leaves half of his property to Georgy and gives Amelia a £500 annuity. She also resumes guardianship of her son. Amelia also discovers through the reading of the will that it was Dobbin who had helped her when she was poverty stricken. With her new wealth, more people begin to visit her (including Maria Osborne).


In Chapter Sixty Two, Georgy, Amelia, Joseph and Dobbin take a summer tour together. They stay at Pumpernickel for a large part of this time. Chapter Sixty Three elaborates on this stay further. Here, Joseph is flattered by the attentions of those in the higher echelons of society and visits the Court. The polite ladies of Pumpernickel society enjoy associating with Amelia.


At a week long fête, Georgy enters a room where there is gambling. A mysterious woman is playing and is wearing a mask (as in a carnival). She engages him in conversation and then asks him to choose a number (which wins). Dobbin and Joseph appear after Georgy tells her his name. Joseph stays to gamble and eventually she reveals her identity. It is Becky Sharp (using the name Mme Raudon).


Analysis - Chapters Fifty Six, Fifty Seven, Fifty Eight, Fifty Nine, Sixty, Sixty One, Sixty Two and Sixty Three

From Chapter Fifty Nine onwards, it is possible to see a reversal of Amelia’s dire fortunes. The hypocrisy of the higher circles of society is made evident as she is now deemed worthy of visiting. Wealth rather than goodness is seen to be the value system in this Vanity Fair. Because of this, it is possible to see a critique of the rising force of capitalism.


The re-introduction of Becky in Chapter Sixty Three is both comical and unlikely, yet figuratively apt. She is masked as it is carnival time, but this is as she always appears metaphorically as she never fully reveals herself. Her encounter with Georgy at the gambling table is also noteworthy as this was one of his father’s weaknesses. By asking him for a number to bet on, there is a suggestion of corruption. This is only touched upon, however, and Joseph takes his place instead. 


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