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Quotes

Quote #10

[Amelia's] sensibilities were so weak and tremulous that perhaps they ought not to be talked about in a book. I was told by Dr. Pestler (now a most flourishing lady's physician, with a sumptuous dark green carriage, a prospect of speedy knighthood, and a house in Manchester Square) that her grief at weaning the child was a sight that would have unmanned a Herod. He was very soft-hearted many years ago, and his wife was mortally jealous of Mrs. Amelia, then and long afterwards.

Perhaps the doctor's lady had good reason for her jealousy: most women shared it, of those who formed the small circle of Amelia's acquaintance, and were quite angry at the enthusiasm with which the other sex regarded her. For almost all men who came near her loved her; though no doubt they would be at a loss to tell you why. She was not brilliant, nor witty, nor wise over much, nor extraordinarily handsome. But wherever she went she touched and charmed every one of the male sex, as invariably as she awakened the scorn and incredulity of her own sisterhood. I think it was her weakness which was her principal charm--a kind of sweet submission and softness, which seemed to appeal to each man she met for his sympathy and protection. (38.17-18)

Amelia creates jealousy of a different sort. She is the permanent damsel in distress whom men tend to want to save, much to their wives' chagrin. Sadly, though (or maybe not?), Amelia doesn't really understand her powers and so can't benefit from their effects. In this, she is not very well-equipped for the world of Vanity Fair.

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