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Consider carefully which of Bathsheba’s three suitors, Boldwood, Troy or Oak possessed the qualities most likely to make Bathsheba a good husband.

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Introduction

Far from the Madding Crowd TASK: Consider carefully which of Bathsheba's three suitors, Boldwood, Troy or Oak possessed the qualities most likely to make Bathsheba a good husband. In the book, 'Far from the Madding Crowd' by Thomas Hardy, there are three suitors for the novels protagonist, Bathsheba Everdene. Unfortunately because she is a very capricious lady, one suitor is murdered by another, who was consequently sentenced to life imprisonment. This essay will discuss which suitor would have been the most compatible to Bathsheba in marriage. In the novel, Bathsheba is the second character we are introduced to, and Thomas Hardy portrays her as a very beautiful but penniless woman. She is the protagonist of the novel, and her interaction with her various suitors propels the plot. As the story unfolds, her character is developed, but it is very clear in the beginning she is a very vain woman. This is firstly shown when Gabriel sees her sitting on top of a carriage full of furniture. It is obvious her beauty entrapped him and he, 'followed the vehicle to the turnpike gate some way beyond the bottom of the hill, where the object of his contemplation now halted for the payment of the toll.' Bathsheba's vanity was evident where she refused to pay the turnpike keeper the extra two pence he wanted. Subsequently, Gabriel paid it and she was neither pleased nor dismissive because she had lost her point, she was just a little disgruntled. ...read more.

Middle

This showed a very patient side of Boldwood, different to the very persistent side of him seen earlier in the book. Unfortunately, after seven years had passed, on the night Bathsheba had promised to accept Boldwood's proposal, Troy burst into the party, insisting on regaining his half of her farm, which came with the marriage. At first Boldwood was deeply upset, but knew there was nothing he could do about it and accepted it, but Bathsheba refused to go at first, and Troy rough handled her. Boldwood, did not like, or accept this, especially because he was so protective and obsessed with her. A mixture of jealousy and over protectiveness then took hold of him, and he shot Troy, killing him almost instantly. Boldwood was then sentenced to death, but because of his high status, because he was a well-respected gentleman and finally because it was argued he was mentally unstable, the sentence was changed to life imprisonment. After the sentence was passed, his obsession with Bathsheba was revealed to its full extent, as items of clothing and jewellery were all found in Boldwood's house, all gift wrapped and with a label saying 'Bathsheba Boldwood'. Sergeant Troy is the second of Bathsheba's possible suitors. Troy is the novels antagonist, and is the less responsible male equivalent of Bathsheba, and his description is the complete opposite of Gabriel Oak's. His irresponsibility is shown on the night of the 'after harvest celebratory meal' when he decides to get drunk, knowing there is a storm which could destroy all the hayricks which they had just harvested. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I have to answer the original question, 'Consider carefully which of Bathsheba's three suitors, Boldwood, Troy or Oak possessed the qualities most likely to make Bathsheba a good husband.' After analysing each of their characters, I feel she would really be best off with a person who had parts of each of the suitors: Boldwood's money and devotion, Troy's handsome appearance and Gabriel's knowledge of farming. Unfortunately this is impossible, therefore I have chosen Gabriel Oak as whom I feel would be the best suitor for Bathsheba Everdene. I think that despite Boldwood saying that she would never have to work again, she is a very independent woman, and I'm not sure she would appreciate that. Troy is like the male equivalent of Bathsheba, and I don't think that she would last that long with him, as problems would arise. Furthermore, he mishandles her, and I think their marriage would be over very quickly. Gabriel is quite different to Bathsheba, and I think that he would be devoted to her, especially after analysing his character, but wouldn't smother her, still giving her her independence. Furthermore, his knowledge of farming would be helpful on the farm. Marriages last if the couple can communicate, and come to a conclusion about situations, and I feel Boldwood would just do whatever she wanted to do, Troy would only do what he wanted to do, but Oak would do whatever was best and fair. Gabriel's character is opposite to Bathsheba's, but in this case I think the marriage would work really well. ?? ?? ?? ?? William Glenn 19th Century Literature - GCSE Coursework 11L5/11C ...read more.

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