Study Guide

Vanity Fair Chapter 50

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Chapter 50

Contains a Vulgar Incident

  • Mrs. Sedley is growing more and more bitter and unpleasant because of the discomfort and constant embarrassment of being poor. She is no longer friends with the landlady and now has suspicions about the one maid they have. Amelia tries to be nice to her, but to no avail.
  • Amelia tries to figure out if there is something she can do to make money. But honestly, have we seen anything to indicate that she has any skills besides looking pretty and crying?
  • So she does about as well as expected.
  • At the same time, the less money they have, and the worse everything becomes, the more Amelia gives in to the idea of giving George Jr. up to the Osbornes.
  • The last straw is when she writes Jos a letter to ask him to start sending the annual payment again.
  • To make Mr. Sedley feel better, she tells him she's written to Jos. Mr. Sedley finally admits the truth: Jos has been sending the money all along, but Mr. Sedley has been using it to pay the debts he's amassed from all his get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Amelia really loses it at this news. That's it. She's done resisting.
  • She writes a letter to Miss Osborne, telling her why she has changed her mind. She says she is willing to let George Jr. go as long as they promise to let her see him as often as she wants.
  • She tells George Jr. that he's going to go live with his other grandfather. He is totally psyched, not at all sad, and brags to his classmates about how he's going to be rich. This isn't surprising, since all kids his age are selfish, but it crushes Amelia.
  • Finally the day comes when she packs all his things and Miss Osborne comes to pick him up.
  • Time passes.
  • George Jr. comes to visit Amelia often, but he is already changing and picking up a bossy, haughty tone.
  • Amelia often sneaks over to watch the Osbornes' house. On Sundays she goes to their church and sits in the back to see if she can see George Jr.
  • One day, while spying like this, she sees George Jr. kindly give money to a street beggar. So here's hoping that George 2.0 isn't as horrendous as his dad.

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