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GCSE: Far From the Madding Crowd
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- Marked by Teachers essays 1
In chapter 5, The landscape of Norcombe Hill seems symbolize Gabriel's utter despair. The moon takes the form of an attenuated skeleton and the pool shimmers like ahead man's eye-nature seems to intertwine with Gabriel's despair. Against the colorless background of the river and the wall. Fanny is contrasted as a mere shade upon the earth. This symbolizes her nullity and despair. Hardy also uses the framing device to symbolize Fanny's weakness. She gazes up to converse with Troy' framed in a window of his barracks .The white color of the snow mixing with the sky symbolizes the obsession of Boldwood's passion .The queer preternatural inversion of light and shade reflects the absurdity of his intense emotional state.
- Word count: 956
It is here that we obtain an insight into her character as just by her voice we can tell that she conforms to the typically portrayed woman; weak minded and easily tempted. This is clear as in comparison, Bathsheba's headstrong confidence and independence is illustrated through her speech and directness in tone, something not evident in Fanny Robin's "timorous" delivery. "It was beating with a throb of tragic intensity. He had frequently felt the same quick, hard beat in the femoral artery of -- his lambs when overdriven."
- Word count: 2333
'More sinned against than sinning.' Is this the way Hardy presents women in 'Far From The Madding Crowd'?
In the Victorian times, this would have been seen as very bad! Chapter one is the very first time that we see Bathsheba. Her entrance happens during the daytime and it is quite dramatic. The fact that she is wearing red creates more drama. This is because the colour red could mean romance or even blood, and blood could mean that bad things could happen. The red colour links with Sergeant Troy as well (a man that has a role in both Bathsheba's and Fanny's lives), and at the end of the book, he dies.
- Word count: 1577
Explore the Relationship between Bathsheba and Troy. What do we learn of Bathsheba's Character from the relationship?
In the second meeting (this time on Bathsheba's farm) their conversation continues much in the same fashion which it had been the night before. Troy was possibly working on the farm to apologise for his rudeness the night before and possibly to show that he was physically capable of working on a farm. Although Bathsheba curses Troy, she has some desire for him. "Don't-don't! I won't listen to you-you are so profane!" she said in a restless state between distress at hearing him and a penchant to hear more.'
- Word count: 2098
However, the women's attitude to marriage was mainly that they had to get married for the social status. This is shown well through Milly's acceptance to Tony. When Tony asks Milly, she replies with 'If you like, Tony' illustrating how she's not very keen on marrying him after what just happened, but will anyway because she wants to be married. Unity Sallet comes across as an independent woman, which can be mirrored in today's times. She says 'take her leavings? Not I!', meaning that she doesn't want to marry someone that was rejected not one minute ago.
- Word count: 604
Bathsheba's vain, independent and certainly wild personality is very eccentric and unusual for that time period. Also considering her ranking in social status is at first not very high but yet she accomplishes to not only mix with higher status members but also tease and be rather cheeky towards them too. She was quoted 'wild before she was rich'! This just confirms how much of a misfit she is for that era. Hardy sets it like a mad game of cat and mouse between them, where Gabriel is persistently jumping through hoops and bending over backwards to satisfy Bathsheba, and sticks by her and stays loyal to her by everything they go through.
- Word count: 3178
While the husband's role has changed into taking more part in household chores and the cooking and cleaning up responsibilities, they are still considered to be the head of the household in some families. But nowadays women and men should be pretty much equal. Women are allowed to vote, and they can go out and work on their own will. Males can even be nurses which were always stereotypically seen as a female's job. So things have changed since the 1800s for women.
- Word count: 2116
She admitted the life he painted was something she would like but without the encumbrance of a husband!! She very honestly confesses that she did not love him to which he is willing to compromise and he says he would be content if she just liked him. "You'd get to despise me, " she says to which Oak asserts that "Never...I shall...keep wanting you till I die". He is honest to his words and as we see Gabriel did continue to love and protect her throughout though Bathsheba could only realize it much later when she was badly embittered in love and life.
- Word count: 642
Vanity was indeed a part of the innermost core of her being. She had a vain woman's desire to be looked at and admired and felt ignored when Farmer Boldwood was indifferent to her beauty and looks when she first visited Casterbridge market. However despite her self-confidence and independence she was an extremely jealous and possessive woman. It was this weakness that made her succumb to Troy's charms and agree to marry him when he tells her that has met another woman more beautiful than her. Initially she also feels jealous of the dead Fanny Robin when she sees Troy kissing her and proclaiming his true love for her and calling her his very own wife!
- Word count: 669
Bathsheba loved Troy because of his way with words, "I said you were beautiful, and I'll say so still, by - so you are! The most beautiful ever I saw, or may I fall dead this instant!" However when she wed Troy he began to torment her "All romances end at marriage." This is when you start to feel sorry for Bathsheba, you realise that she isn't as tough as she tries to make out "I wish you wouldn't talk like that.
- Word count: 930
From your reading of Far from the Madding Crowd, what do you find of interest in Hardys presentation of womens experiences in the 19th century?
Fanny Robin is a poor, vulnerable and working class woman, she is living in a society which frowns upon sex outside of marriage. Bathsheba Everdene is very different from Fanny Robin because she is an independent woman who owns and runs a farm which she inherited from her uncle. She is very powerful. Fanny Robin was the typical country girl in the nineteenth century. Towards the beginning of the book it shows that Fanny could be seen as vulnerable and weak.
- Word count: 2317
Farmer Oak is said to be a "young man of sound judgement" with "easy motions" and "proper dress". Early on in the Chapter Farmer Oak receives a very positive review from Hardy however further on we are told that on Sundays (church going day) he had "misty views" and that as a religious person he lay in the space of "Laodicean". This shows that Oak, like other people, has faults.
- Word count: 530
We can see by this that Hardy loves this atmosphere as he gives so much time to the countryside which he loves dearly. He even personifies the twinkling of the stars as if they were living and gives them "throbs of one body" like a pulse and tell us they are "timed by a common pulse" which is the Wessex landscape itself. Hardy loves it to the extent where it is living and breathing. Hardy chose his characters names carefully, not only to portray their individual characteristics but to also suit his idyllic countryside.
- Word count: 784
He supervises her fields and her flocks and protects her interests with a rare devotion. When he finds he erring, as in her having played a coquettish trick upon Boldwood and in her developing intimacy with sergeant Troy, he does not hesitate to warn her and to rebuke her even though she pay feel annoyed with him. By service and devotion, he makes himself indispensable to her so that ultimately she recognises his worth and value as a human being and marries him. " the most beautiful ever I saw, or may I fall dead this instant!"
- Word count: 727
You can also see she is not vain because when Boldwood praises her beauty the comments have no effect. Her life experiences have caused this change in her. The main life experience is her marriage to Frank Troy which affected her the most. She transforms from a confident character to a submissive and introverted figure she becomes less and less like her usual self. The first sign you see of independence is fairly near the beginning in chapter three, when we see her riding the horse.
- Word count: 2056
Lastly the surname Oak instantly suggests that he endures life disappointments and is a strong willed individual. Gabriel Oak is an independent farmer who owns his own sheep through hard work "he had been able by sustained efforts of industry and chronic good spirits to lease the small sheep-farm of which Norcombe Hill was a portion, and stock it with two hundred sheep. He however loses his farm through bad fortune (he was thankful that he wasn't married and shows he is considerate and thinks of others more than himself "thank God I am not married, what she would have done in poverty now coming upon me")
- Word count: 2776
"His equilibrium disturbed he was in extremity at once." Discuss this view of Farmer Boldwood throughout the novel
For most of the night he remains awake, constantly thinking about the valentine and who wrote it. Even when he falls asleep he dreams of it. From this we can tell that Boldwood does not have a real sense of humour, he assumes that the valentine must be completely serious. At the end of chapter fifteen Boldwood discovers from Gabriel Oak's information and by comparing writing that the valentine was sent by Bathsheba, but if anything this makes him feel worse. Boldwood also feels slightly ashamed of himself for having revealed too much about his mood to Gabriel Oak, confirming his reserved disposition.
- Word count: 3163
Chapter XIV concentrates on the repercussions on Boldwood of the receipt of a valentine card from a yet unknown admirer. With the chapter titled 'Sunrise' this gives us an immediate intention of what the chapter could be about, with 'sunrise' suggesting an awakening of new ideas, For Boldwood possibly the idea of love, which is a long forgotten concept for this seemingly confirmed 'bachelor'. The description of his parlour 'Where everything which was not grave was extraneous'- told the reader that everything that wasn't needed wasn't there, suggesting a life of basic necessity.
- Word count: 1451
"Married?" "No, Miss." "How old is he?" "Forty I should say - very handsome - rather stern looking." "What a bother this dusting is! I am always in some unfortunate plight or other," Bathsheba said complainingly... This shows that Bathsheba almost has an imaginary checklist in her mind ticking off all the positive things; Boldwood is a gentleman, which means he is rich, he is middle aged, and handsome. This makes her annoyed, as she was unavailable to answer the door when he knocked. He is also kind as he looked after a child called Fanny. She also finds out that many girls have tried to court him but none have been successful, so she tries to court him as an achievement and likes the idea of a challenge.
- Word count: 1312
In Far from the Madding Crowd the major characters act out against a background of village life, as represented by such characters as Liddy, Joseph Poorgrass, Jan Coggan and Cainy Ball. Discuss the importance of the interaction between
Thomas hardy to tries to bring them to live as much as possible in this way. An additional example is Laban Tall who seems to be a very hen-pecked husband and someone who can't speak for himself. Again, this character was created to make us laugh. His is constantly referred to as "Susan Tall's husband" when the usual way to address his wife if her name wasn't used was to be "Laban Tall's wife". Thus, there seems to be a reversal of roles here which we find amusing. However, we must note that this apparent reversal of roles is only strange because of the 19th century context.
- Word count: 4268
'Far from the Maddening Crowd.' Why does Bathsheba choose Troy when she could have had Oak or Boldwood?
Bathsheba is a very educated, beautiful and highly attractive person. However, in later chapters she shows herself to be capable, brave and self-reliant, struggling against multiplying disasters, which have their origins in her earlier immaturity. Her deficiency in maturity leads her into two disastrous relationships, namely with Mr Boldwood and with Troy. The author makes it clear that Bathsheba's character includes both fine feelings and faults. By the end of the novel she reveals an inner strength by being able to endure Troy and Fanny being buried together, and she recognizes her need for the love of Gabriel, who has remained loyal and steadfast.
- Word count: 4080
Oak is obviously interested in the lady but the scene unfolds as Bathsheba decides not to pay the turnpike keeper the two pence that he wants. Gabriel approaches and gives the keeper the money. "Let the young woman pass" Bathsheba is neither pleased nor dismissive of Oak yet because of him she has lost her point. She thinks nothing of it apart from being a little disgruntled and carries but Gabriel talks to the gatekeeper who mentions her vanity. This casual meeting introduces the two characters to each other for the first time, little does Bathsheba know that this seemingly insignificant farmer will play such a great role in her life.
- Word count: 1122
This gives people more idea about Oak's character and personality. His clothes were very practical but they made him look 'clumsy and foolish'. Hardy also states that Gabriel was a source of some amusement; his watch was very difficult to get out, apart from being amusing, this also demonstrates that Oak doesn't need to use modern conventions to tell the time. He can use the position of the sun and stars to tell the time. This is an example of how close he is to nature. This is also hinted in his name: Gabriel 'oak', the word oak is used to describe him as 'natural and sturdy' like the oak tree.
- Word count: 878
Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas HardyDescribe the activity you undertook: Produced a role play where we had to improvise and be Bathsheba, Fanny and Liddy. They were brought together for a meeting where the topic "Women Exploitation
When playing Liddy, I identified with Bathsheba and Fanny as I had been used in the hurt in the past because of women exploitation. The book is completely based on Bathsheba; a woman and at that time there was a queen on the throne so perhaps the book is also showing the era of Queen Victoria. I used this knowledge to develop my vocabulary to adapt to the way they spoke in those times. This showed the period of time the book was written in.
- Word count: 630
From the start of the novel it is noted that Bathsheba is a very vain and unconventional character. Right from the start while on horseback she proved this. "A small swing looking glass was disclosed, in which she proceeded to survey herself attentively. She parted her lips and smiled". It is questioned that Bathsheba's vanity is uncurable and at the end of it all, is it still uncured? She stands out from the world around her because it is ruled by men but she is in charge of the community around her. Bathsheba's love life follows a circular pattern and by the endd she loses strength and stamina and eventually ends up married to Oak after turning down his proposal at the start of the novel.
- Word count: 2260