Study Guide

Vanity Fair Chapter 58

By William Makepeace Thackeray

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Chapter 58

Our Friend the Major

  • Jos and Dobbin disembark and take a room at a famous inn. Their first meal of British roast beef and beer is heavenly.
  • Dobbin wants to be off to London ASAP, but Jos is tired and cranky and fat and doesn't want to go without all his stuff.
  • Dobbin agrees to stay overnight at the inn but gets up at the crack of dawn and wants to be off. He wakes Jos up, but when Jos finds out what time it is he curses and yells and then goes back to sleep. Dobbin takes the next carriage out of there and makes super-fast time through the countryside.
  • Why on earth is he in such a hurry? Yes, mysterious.
  • In London, Dobbin goes to his old club and gets a room and a snack there.
  • Quickly, he hurries off to Amelia's old neighborhood. He is totally freaking out at this point. He starts to shake when he sees a woman walking with a's not her.
  • At the house, he see the Clapp family, who recognize him after a second or two (it's been ten years!) and tell him all about Mrs. Sedley's death and where George Jr. lives now.
  • He wants to ask whether Amelia is married but can't come out with it.
  • Finally they tell him that she is out for a walk with her father, and that Polly Clapp knows where they like to walk and can take him there.
  • On the way, they run across a guy walking with a woman on each arm. Polly says hello and tells Dobbin that this is Mr. Binny. Dobbin kind of does a twitch at this. Then it turns out the two ladies are his sister...and his wife. Yay! Amelia isn't married to him! Oh, wait, we already knew that. But Dobbin didn't. He's psyched.
  • Polly and Dobbin get to the park and see Amelia and Mr. Sedley. Dobbin turns pale and then red and then twitches around. Polly would have to be a total idiot not to figure out that he still has the hots for Amelia.
  • Dobbin asks her to go tell Amelia that he's there. When Amelia sees him, she starts to cry. (Hey, it's pretty much her only response to everything.)
  • Her first question: So where's Mrs. Dobbin? Dobbin tells her he's not married either. She's psyched (well, kind of). Then he tells her that Jos came with him too and that he's ready to take care of her and Mr. Sedley.
  • Mr. Sedley now starts saying hello to Dobbin and it's clear that he's senile.
  • All of them go back to the house and have some tea.
  • Amelia tells Dobbin all about George Jr. Seriously, all about George Jr. She's obsessed with her kid and how much he is like his dead father.
  • Dobbin is sort of sad. He leaves and goes to the theater, feeling a little guilty that he hasn't seen his own family yet.

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