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Summary

Vanity Fair Chapter 6 Summary Page 1

Vauxhall

  • The narrator wonders how the story would change if the main characters were at the top of the social heap (if they were all titled nobility), or if they were servants. It seems that necessarily at least the tone of the novel would be completely different.
  • Anyhoodle, the five young people finally go to Vauxhall. Everyone is convinced that Jos will propose there.
  • As predicted, Dobbin is the fifth wheel, walking behind the two couples carrying their bags and shawls. He doesn't seem to mind too much and thinks about Amelia.
  • The couples split up. George and Amelia have a "perfectly happy and correct" time, just like every other time they've been alone together for the past fifteen years (6.17).
  • Becky and Jos, meanwhile, are talking, but just as Jos is about to ask Becky how she'd like to come to India for good, the bell rings to announce the Vauxhall fireworks.
  • Fireworks time is dinnertime.
  • At dinner, Jos eats an enormous amount of food. (He's fat, remember? And there is no political correctness to prevent the narrator from making fun of him for it.) He also drinks a bottle of champagne almost by himself, as well as a bowl of alcoholic punch.
  • Jos is wasted.
  • He sings songs, is loud, calls Becky his "dearest diddle-diddle-darling" (6.28), and makes a huge fool out of himself. It's a ridiculous disaster.
  • Dobbin and George take Becky and Amelia home, then carry Jos home half passed out.
  • That night, Becky thinks Jos will propose tomorrow. Amelia agrees. George, meanwhile, is not too psyched to have a poor art teacher's daughter for a sister-in-law.
  • The next morning, George mercilessly teases Jos about what an idiot he made out of himself. Jos is beyond embarrassed and does not come to see Becky.
  • George does come to see Becky and Amelia, and Becky quickly figures out that he scared Jos out of coming and proposing. So Becky is no longer a big fan of George.
  • Meanwhile, Jos writes a note to Amelia saying that he is leaving the country and going off to Scotland. So, the whole proposal-and-marriage thing is totally off.
  • Becky gets ready to leave. Mrs. Blenkinsop, the housekeeper, confesses to Amelia that no one really likes Becky anymore. She's been sneaking around, spying on the family, and maybe even stealing things. Amelia doesn't want to hear it, and it seems like she's really the only one who is sad to see Becky go.
  • Still, the Sedleys and George give Becky a bunch of money as a going-away present.
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