Vanity Fair- Becky’s Two Sides

Towards the end of Vanity Fair, the reader may begin to question “Is Becky really turning into a better person, and if so are we supposed to forget about her old ways?”  Another way to interpret this could be “Is Becky only pretending to be a better person?,” since we have already witnessed how cunning she has been throughout the novel.  There is evidence for Becky beginning to be a better person: the narrator in chapter 63 tells us that she “went to church very regularly…took up the cause of the widows of the shipwrecked fishermen…subscribed to the Assembly and wouldn’t waltz” (641).  The narrator says that we should look upon her with fondness, as she was being a respectable woman.  She began to write her son, and brought Amelia to her senses to realize that she should marry Dobbin.  However, all of these acts could be done because of Becky’s own selfish motives.  After all, she did have an affair with Lord Steyne and needed to appear respectable in order to save her character and recover from the scandal.  Also, her note to Little Rawdon may have been insincere, as she never cared about him before.  Furthermore, Becky still only married Joseph for his money, and took advantage of him when she got it.  Thus, it is up to the reader to decide if the narrator was leading us in the right or wrong direction of feeling sorry for Becky.


Source: Thackeray, W.M. Vanity Fair. 1st. New York: WW Norton& CO., 1994. 1-689. Print.

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