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Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair


by William Makepeace Thackeray

Analysis: Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Becky secretly marries Rawdon and thus loses her chance at the Crawley money and estate. Amelia secretly marries George, whose father disowns him and who is immediately bored with her.

Act II

Rawdon discovers Becky alone with Lord Steyne, takes away her jewelry and money, and leaves her. Amelia is forced to give up her son to his grandfather because of her poverty.


Becky traipses around Europe until she runs into Jos. With his life insurance money, she sets up a life for herself in Bath. Amelia traipses around Europe until she runs into Becky. After Becky shows her that George was a cheating jerk, Amelia marries Dobbin and moves out to the London countryside.

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