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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Will Dobbin

Will Dobbin is one of maybe two characters in the novel who is inherently good (the other being Amelia). He is a childhood friend of George Osborne and once defends George from the school bully. It is a selfless act of someone who endures being made fun of as the son of a grocer. Dobbin is often looking out for the interests of others and rarely pursues his own interests. The only true interest Dobbin displays is his interest in Amelia, which he doesn't pursue because she is in love with the unworthy George.

Dobbin often acts behind the scenes in order to avoid recognition for the good he performs. In one instance, he purchases Amelia's piano at her family's auction and sends it to her annonymously. Unfortunately for Dobbin, Amelia assumes it's from George and doesn't find out otherwise until the end of the novel. Dobbin hides his true feelings for Amelia, even after the death of George.

In another instance, Dobbin works behind the scenes to soften the Osbornes toward Amelia so that they may help Amelia's son Georgy move up in the world. He tells Georgy about his father, India, and Waterloo and mentors the young man.

"One day, taking him to the play, and the boy declining to go into the pit because it was vulgar, the Major took him to the boxes, left him there, and went down himself to the pit. He had not been seated there very long, before he felt an arm thrust under his, and a dandy little hand in a kid-glove squeezing his arm. George had seen the obsurdity of his ways, and come down from the upper region. A tender laugh o benevolence lighted up old Dobbin's face and eyes as he looked at the repentant little prodigal. He loved the boy, as he did everything that belonged to Amelia. How charmed she was when she heard of this instance of George's goodness! Her eyes looked more kindly on Dobbin than they ever had done." (Chapter 60)
In the above passage, Dobbin has more of a fatherly influence on George than anyone has before and discourages his arrogance, unlike his father's family. Dobbin becomes George's hero. much like he was for the late George Osborne.

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