Heroes in Vanity Fair

Are the readers supposed to favor a character and pick them as a hero in Vanity Fair? Is it really a novel without a hero?

Although the subtitle to Thackeray’s novel reads “A Novel Without a Hero,” I can’t help but wonder whether this is true or not, and in my reading of the novel, I have found some possible arguments against this subtitle. So far as I have read, I have determined that there are three possible heroes within this novel, there is Amelia, Becky, and Dobbin. As previously discussed, Thackeray makes a point to explain that Amelia is not a heroine, but later contradicts himself by describing Amelia’s character in detail because she is the heroine of the novel. Similarly, Thackary spends a lot of time showcasing Becky’s deplorable behavior, but makes a point to defend and excuse her behavior by explaining her situation and reasonably explaining to the readers that in Becky’s situation, her behavior is understandable. As for Dobbin, I feel like he’s the only good character in this entire book so far, he really cares for Amelia and would do almost anything to make her happy, and he kind of an underdog as well, he is not from a wealthy family (his family actually worked for their money, the embarassment!), he is not favored by his love interest, and really he’s just kind of cast aside a lot. I can’t help but want to make this novel a tragic love story between Dobbin and Amelia, but with Becky taking such a large part of this it’s so much harder to do that! With these three characters, Thackeray offends and defends them all alike, so I reallly can’t make up my mind yet…

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