I remember this mostly as a movie… the one I watched made by Mira Nair and starring Reese Witherspoon. Perhaps it was the casting, but Becky’s character is what I love. Becky was a woman who went after what she wanted, sometimes unscrupulously.
When I read the book, I figured Nair had somewhat glossed over some of the more unsavory aspects of her character. Even in the book, Thackeray does not dwell about those parts… he merely hints at certain things.
Yet, I like her. Of course, her relationship with her husband is portrayed a little more romantically in the movie. But why does one like an anti-heroine? She isn’t the villian. She is created so we can compare and like Amelia instead, who is virtuous and all that a woman was supposed to be. Instead, I found her Amelia weak and boring. A woman who stuck to what was supposed to be her role, wasted away for love of a man who wasn’t worth it, ignored the affections of a man who had been there for her constantly – all because society required it?
Becky strived for things above her position. Love, status, money and recognition. Why is it that when a man does this, he is called ambitious and a woman does it, she is called shrewd/scheming/cunning?
I loved Witherspoon’s depiction of Becky. Perhaps that is colouring my whole perception of Becky… but the question still holds.