Monday, November 3, 2008

A Fair Question

I hate it when I'm reading along in a book and I read a chapter and suddenly realize I have no idea what the f@#k is going on. This happened to me in chapter 29 of "Vanity Fair" entitled "Brussels". Our cast of characters, Becky and her husband Rawden Crawley, George and his wife Amelia, Captain Dobbin, and Amelia's brother Joseph all go to Belgium, since Napolean is back in France and it's clear a final battle will be coming. This in itself made me, war has sure changed in the past 200 years. All the soldiers were responsible for shipping themselves to Belgium, and many took their wives and families, with other hangers on, like Joseph Sedley, just dressing up in any makeshift uniform they could find and going along just for the parties. And party they did...arriving at Belgium, everyone hangs out drinking and going to fancy balls until the orders to march come down.

But here's the part I didn't understand. The two couples, Rawden and Becky, and Joseph and Amelia, have been good friends. It's true, Rawden and Jopseph gamble together, which usually results in Rawden taking Joseph's money, but still. But then there's this scene at a ball in chapter 29 where Becky and Joseph flirt massively, and Amelia is ignored, except when Becky comes up to Amelia and totally rags all over her. I don't understand where this is coming from. Why is Becky doing this? Is it simple lust? Not likely, because Becky is too calculating for that. Why does Becky turn on her friend like this? There has to be an angle, but I didn't catch it while I was reading.

Nonetheless, this new behavior of Becky's is quite evil, more than we've seen so far, so I take away some of my more benign assessment of her that I proclaimed in my last post.

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