Study Guide

Vanity Fair Chapter 67

By William Makepeace Thackeray

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Chapter 67

Which contains Births, Marriages, and Deaths

  • Becky is psyched to live in the comfort and affection of Amelia and Jos's place. Like she usually does when she's taken care of, she starts to try to please everyone around her. She does this quite well.
  • Jos is quickly wrapped around Becky's little finger. He starts to give little parties in her honor, and a part of society immediately accepts her.
  • Amelia is at first kind of put off by having to be yet again second banana to the much more dynamic and personable Becky, but soon enough Becky figures out how to please her. And that's by talking about Dobbin. A lot. Mostly about how super-wonderful he is.
  • Amelia is pretty depressed about Dobbin going away. She talks about him and how good a man he is to George Jr.
  • One day Becky gets her much-discussed luggage from abroad, but there doesn't seem to be anything much in it besides some papers. However, one of the things she takes out of it is...the portrait of Jos on an elephant she and Rawdon bought at the Sedleys' auction!
  • She puts it up in her room and tells Jos how she's kept it all these years because it's...very...sentimentally...meaningful. Hint, hint. This is the final straw, and Jos falls head over heels into Becky-obsession.
  • Jos reads in the paper that Dobbin is going to be promoted from Major to Lieutenant-Colonel.
  • Amelia already knows about this because she makes George Jr. maintain a very steady correspondence with Dobbin (which George Jr. is very happy to do, of course).
  • Finally, the season in Pumpernickel is over.
  • Jos's doctor recommends the mineral baths at Ostend, so that's where they go.
  • Unfortunately, they run into some of Becky old gambling and cheating acquaintances there. Two men in particular attach themselves to Amelia in the hopes of marrying her and getting her money. Becky feels terrible about this. She tries to get Jos to leave Ostend, but he is a slow mover. As a last resort, Becky decides to have it all out with Amelia.
  • She brings up Dobbin. Amelia tells her that she really tried to be into him but couldn't ever get over George.
  • At this, Becky shows Amelia the note that George wrote asking her to run off and get it on with him. Amelia cries a little bit but is actually relieved that she is no longer bound to George's memory.
  • Becky tells her to write a letter to Dobbin, and Amelia says...that she already has! Nice!
  • Two days later, Dobbin comes to Ostend, and as soon as he gets off the boat, he and Amelia hug and kiss and make up. Then they get married. The narrator mocks Dobbin for finally getting what he's wanted for eighteen years, because Amelia is clearly no great shakes. But, to each his own.
  • And now, here is what happened to everyone we've met.
  • Peggy O'Dowd's husband is now a Major-General and they live back in Ireland.
  • Colonel Dobbin resigned his army commission and he and Amelia now live near Queen's Crawley. Amelia has a daughter with him.
  • At Queen's Crawley, Pitt is no longer in Parliament as a result of the Reform Bill. Lady Jane and Amelia become fast friends. George Jr. and Rawdon Jr. become good friends too, eventually going to the same college, and then fighting over Jane and Pitt's daughter, with whom they both end up in love.
  • No one mentions Becky.
  • Becky and Jos travel everywhere together, and "that infatuated man seemed to be entirely her slave" (67.66). Jos takes out a huge life insurance policy, and Dobbin goes to Brussels to find out what the deal is. Turns out Becky and Jos live in different suites in the same hotel. Jos has nice things to say about Becky, who it seems has taken care of him through some weird illnesses, but he also seems very scared of her. He says he insured his life so she would be taken care of if something happens to him.
  • Dobbin asks Jos to get away from her somehow, maybe go back to India. Jos breaks down and says that he'd love to escape, but he's too scared to leave with Dobbin straightaway.
  • Three months later, Jos dies.
  • The insurance company cries foul play and refuses to pay. Becky hires lawyers. Oddly enough, they have the same names as a bunch of recent mass-murderers. Hmm...a hint perhaps? Finally, the money is paid.
  • Rawdon dies at his post in Coventry Island.
  • Pitt dies.
  • The estate and title go to Rawdon Jr. as the next male heir. (Oh, did we mention that Jane and Pitt's son died? He did, without too much fuss on the narrator's part.)
  • Rawdon Jr. refuses to have anything to do with Becky, though he does pay her an allowance.
  • Becky lives well at the resort town of Bath. She has friends there who love her, along with some enemies.
  • Dobbin loves Amelia less now. Mostly he loves his daughter and his history books.
  • The end. Woohoo!

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