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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
Most parts of Thackeray’s remarkable masterpiece Vanity Fair are set in England, London to be more specific. After the first twenty chapters, the main characters shift to Belgium as the war is approaching and the principal characters are either in the army or associated with it in some way. The main characters move from London to Brighton and finally to Brussels. After the battle, the Crawleys move to Paris while Amelia lives in London.
The setting shifts back to London and Hampshire with Becky and Rawdon moving back to their own country. The last few chapters are set in Pumpernickel and Ostend and finally the setting shifts back to England.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Rebecca is a selfish, bad woman who hungers after respectability. Coming from a low background, she wants all the comforts that life can offer and has the capability and determination to sacrifice everything she has for it. It is her selfishness that leaves her lonely uncared for and unloved by everyone.
Amelia is a good woman. She too is selfish but her selfishness is reduced due to her ability to love. She is an extremely dutiful daughter, dedicated wife, possessive mother, and a helpful friend. She is made in the mould of a Romantic heroine - beautiful, delicate, sweet, and graceful.
He is the tall, handsome to be heir of a rich aunt. He is a man of jolly disposition and is employed in the Life of Guards Green. He has a lucky hand at cards. Later, he is a good husband and a wonderful father. He is the only character that undergoes refinement in the novel.
Capt. George Osborne
He is a smart, pampered and flirtatious character, who is very sure of his charms and good looks. He makes an infidel husband. Though a spendthrift, he is also a brave and honorable soldier is His Majesty’s -Th Regiment of Foot.
Dobbin is the only consistently good character of the story. He is a devoted friend and a true lover. Though his appearance and manners are rather clumsy, his form bamboo like and feet excessively large, he has a heart of gold.
He is Amelia’s elder brother, employed in the East India Company in India. He is a fat, pompous and very vain man. He is a coward and an escapist who always flees from difficult situations.
He is the father of Amelia and Jos, a businessman who loses all his money and goes bankrupt. The rest of his old age is spent in establishing new business in which he constantly incurs losses.
When rich, she is a very kind lady, later when her husband goes bankrupt, she becomes a selfish and weak woman.
The father of George, he is a successful businessman, and a stern and stubborn patriarch.
Georgy (George Osborne Jr.)
He is the son of George Osborne and Amelia. He is a chip of the old block.
Rawdon Crawley Jr.
He is the son of Rebecca and Rawdon. He is a very kind, disciplined and obedient gentleman.
She is the unmarried sister of George Osborne. She is a kind woman who is instrumental in the acceptance of Georgy into the Osborne family.
Maria Bullock (nee Osborne)
She is the second sister of George Osborne. She is married to an extremely materialistic and greedy man.
They are very kind sisters of Dobbin, who help Amelia in her poverty.
A proud and vain woman who manages a finishing school which Rebecca and Amelia attend.
Sir Pitt Crawley
An old, frugal Baronet, he has a taste for low life. He is the father of Rawdon.
The Machiavellian, elder son of Sir Pitt, he is deeply interested in sermons and pamphlet writing on malt and corn.
Miss Matilda Crawley
She is an old spinster with a large fortune. She knows how to enjoy life and make her relations dance to her orders.
She is an honest and simple hearted spinster who is the companion to Miss Crawley and later to Rebecca.
Mrs. Bute Crawley
She is a conniving tyrant of a woman. She is a natural opportunist and mortally jealous of her rich relations.
She is a humane, courageous caring wife of a Major. She speaks with an Irish accent.
He is an affluent man led by vices and pleasures.
She is the wife of Pitt Crawley and a wonderful person with a large and generous heart.
He is a butler of the Crawley’s who, with handwork rises to fortune.
Very Minor Characters
He is a school bully who studies with George and Dobbin.
Miss Jemima Pinkerton
She is the sister of Miss Pinkerton and is fond of Becky.
Rose and Violet
They are daughters of Sir Pitt for whom Becky goes as a governess.
Reverend Bute Crawley
He is the younger brother of Sir Pitt and is a rector.
He is the young son of Bute Crawley, and studies at Oxford.
He is a vain friend of Jos Sedley and meets him at Pumpernickel.
She is a rich woman possessing large diamonds and is extremely proud.
She is Miss Crawley’s loyal servant.
She is a young and attractive heiress whom Old Osborne wants George to marry.
He is the major who is in command of George’s regiment.
She is a flirtatious and enticing young lady who wishes to marry Dobbin.
He is an injured lad who brings the news of the welfare of George after the battle of Quatre Bras.
He is Jos Sedley’s servant in Brussels.
She is Amelia’s cook at Brussels.
He is Pauline’s lover.
She is the dominating mother of Lady Jane.
She is an old servant at Queen’s Crawley who tries to rob and kill Sir Pitt.
He is Sir Pitt’s butler who, with his daughter, tries to kill and rob his benefactor.
He is the emissary of Lord Styne who is eager to give evidence for Becky’s innocence to Rawdon.
He is the man who proposes marriage to Amelia.
Tom Eaves - He is the man who narrates the family history of Lord Styne.
He is a helpful friend of Rawdon who goes with him to Coventry Island as his secretary.
She is the wife of the narrator of the story.
Capt. Rook and Major Lode
They are really low and cheap acquaintances of Rebecca in Ostend.
Doctor Von Glauber
He is the court doctor and treats Jos at Pumpernickel.
She is the little daughter of Amelia and Dobbin, of whom Dobbin is extremely fond. She is named after her godmother Lady Jane.
He is the father of Lady Jane.
He is Becky’s coachman.
He is a hypocritical inhabitant of Vanity Fair.
She is the wife of Lord Styne.
He is the butler of Miss Crawley.