Below is an insight into the character Rebecca Sharp that came from William Thackeray‘s satirical novel – Vanity Fair.
Plot Details of Vanity Fair
The plot revolves around the journey of Rebbeca Sharp also known as Becky Sharp and her growth to wealth and prestige. The story is to put the message that even after earning a lot of material possessions,
The fulfillment of happiness cannot be guaranteed. Rebecca Sharp experienced the world of poverty at the tender age of eight.
As she grew up, she was turning into a beautiful lady that made the tradesmen give them an extra meal in the day and also keep her father’s creditors away.
She was talented and learned the art of caricature. She made caricatures for Miss Pinkerton and Jemima which served as a form of entertainment. The story turns, and Becky becomes a prisoner in Chiswick.
Here, she turned her hobbies into her occupation. Her life takes a turn and Becky focuses on getting out of prison after finding herself. Her life motives change. She focuses more on her own interests rather than her father’s.
She also starts acting for her own self rather than role-playing for artists. The puppet now became the puppeteer. She was a musician and a good linguist. She also, like other women of her time, went for the course of behavior the other ladies went to.
Rebecca made her first attempt into the world of Vanity by seducing Reverand Mr. Crisp. Mr. Crisp was a renowned Reverand at the Church of Chiswick. Rebecca threw her charm over him like a net on the predator.
He was so infatuated with her that he sent Rebecca Sharp a marriage proposal. However, Mr. Crisp’s mother was not accepting of this and carried her son away by constantly telling him the failings of Rebecca’s prison break. Eventually, he took back his proposal.
Becky Sharp and Rawdon Crawley
Soon, Rebecca started to work as a governess at the Crawleys. She was hired by Mrs. Pinkerton. Before traveling to their Manor, she stopped at Sedleys.
It is said that her true nature was revealed at this moment when she expressed how she wanted Mrs. Pinkerton dead. At Sedley’s, she was attracted to a man named Joseph. Amelia was a witness to all these scenarios.
Rebecca’s Steps to Achieve Joseph as Her Own
One: Always be humble or appear so. Pretend to be very interested in the works and achievements of the man. Get to know his interests and talk about them.
Two: Have a good sense of humor and involve in light heart conversations with Mr. Sedley – father of Joseph. Although she was not very fond of Mr. Sedley, she was always very nice to him and pretended to laugh at his jokes, demonstrating how well she could get along with him.
Three: Be cool and appear uninterested. She would never call Joseph first or go visit him on her own. Even though it had been days since he visited, she never took his name.
However, when Joseph made a visit she was very excited and showed him the best caricatures made by Amelia as her own. This fetched her an extended stay at the Sedleys sometimes.
Four: Get along with his family and friends and keep making efforts to know them better. Win their hearts and become as though one of them. By Rebecca’s loyalty to Amelia, she won the heart of Joseph’s mother.
With all this, she went ahead and Joseph could not resist the urge to make Rebecca his wife. In fact, he started to try many times but someone or the other kept coming in the way. After three failed attempts he jots the courage to do it the fourth time.
However, this time he is made fun of by George Osbourne while he was confessing his feelings to his old friend William Dobbin. George goes on all about Rebecca’s plans and tactics and Joseph swallowed his proposal once again.
The loss of Joseph from her life does not stop Rebecca. She goes away to Queen’s Crawley and decides to find a living there. Her performances were highly appreciated and soon she became everybody’s favorite at the Queen’s Crawley.
Soon she became an industrious secretary to Sir Pitts Crawley. Throughout the story, it is clear that Rebecca follows the principle of insincerity to go ahead or to step up in her career as well as social life.
She thoroughly competed with Rawdon and her husband who tried to win the heart of the Crawley and eventually Rebecca won this race. Rawdon had a hard time dealing with Rebecca.
Rebecca Sharp: Conclusion
Rebecca Sharp is a unique character of the Vanity Fair that isn’t exactly heroic but depicts one of the realistic situations the European society faced with women.
Being a prodigy at the age of eight, and becoming a pro at the tender age of seventeen, Rebecca learned many things and gradually evolved as a woman.