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GCSE: Far From the Madding Crowd

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  1. Comparing two short stories -The Superstitious Man's Story by Thomas Hardy and Night Fears by L P Hartley.

    The mood of the start of The Superstitious Man's Story is very unsettling as it tells you that this is going to be a ghost story. "You could feel when he came near'ee". "There seemed to be something clammy in the air". These two lines already set the story off to a chilling start. You already know that this is going to be a story involving the supernatural. Also we can tell there is going to be a death in this story because of the quote, "William, as you may know, was a curious, ...".

    • Word count: 1693
  2. Explore Thomas Hardy's use of letters in 'Far From The Madding Crowd'. Do you think they are successful literary devices?

    The letter is a Valentine with 'marry me' on the seal that is sent as a joke. She sees it as a harmless bit of fun and she could not have imagined in her wildest dreams how much this was going to be blown out of proportion. 'So very idly and unreflectingly was this deed done of love as a spectacle. Bathsheba had a fair knowledge; but of love subjectively she knew nothing' She expected Boldwood to accept the letter as a joke but his reaction was quite the opposite.

    • Word count: 1874
  3. The book 'Far from the madding Crowd' is about a young woman, Bathsheba, who experiences many types of relationships.

    Men were seen as superior, they could marry whoever they felt fit however young or old. If a woman were to refuse marriage the consequences would have been extremely serious. In most severe cases rape or violent beatings was the result. After reading the novel, I assume that Thomas Hardy disagrees with the way women were perceived. The main characters display this analysis clearly. Hardy shows Gabriel and Bathsheba subvert stereotypical roles as when Gabriel proposed marriage upon Bathsheba she refused him " I don't want to marry you...I don't love you."

    • Word count: 1696
  4. Consider the characters of Oak, Boldwood and Troyand their relationship with Bathsheba. Which male best fits the 19th century tradition of the 'Romantic Hero'?

    However, the characters do no fit the stereo type of the Victorian novel exactly. The idea of a romantic hero is that he is a good character without any real faults, in this novel it is rather unclear as to who is the romantic hero until towards the end of the book. The heroine is meant to go through bad incidents with no fault of her own but Bathsheba is not innocent, you can see this when Boldwood falls in love with her because she has sent him a valentines card with `Marry Me' stamped on the back.

    • Word count: 1045
  5. What devices does Hardy use in his stories? Fate and Mockeries of Fate

    Chapter forty is a good chapter to look at because it is the chapter before Fanny actually dies. The first instance is in the second paragraph, which says 'shutting out every speck of heaven', it is a peculiar metaphor to describe the sky, and one that further adds to the suspicion of Fanny's death. The other is in the next paragraph, where she herself says 'I shall be in my grave before now', and in the next chapter she does.

    • Word count: 1575
  6. According from your Reading of 'Far From The Madding Crowd' what qualities does Hardy Promote As being Required For A Successful Relationship?

    William Boldwood probably the least successful relationship with Bathsheba. He is most probably the least appealing to Bathsheba because he is such a dignified and serious character at first. Boldwood however does gain my sympathy due to the fact he is an essentially thoughtful and intensely sensitive man; he also is very na�ve with women and relationships because he has never experienced true love or any form of a serious relationship and has lived a celibate life. They never shared an intimate moment nor did they ever have a relationship where the outcome may have been marriage.

    • Word count: 1988
  7. "Far from the Madding Crowd" is essentially about obsession. Discuss.

    Bathsheba is fairly obsessed with having everyone's attention, so she sends Mr. Boldwood a valentine as a harmless joke. A joke, as she does not love him does not seem very problematic to her. After receiving this letter, Mr. Boldwood becomes quite infatuated by Miss. Everdene and asks for her hand in marriage by offering "a lady's life of leisure". Bathsheba, feeling quite guilty for sending the Valentine in the first place now, apologises and explains that she has "not fallen in love" with him.

    • Word count: 1689
  8. What techniques does Thomas Hardy use to make this story seem like a 'true' ghost story, and not just a fantasy? The superstitious man's story

    For example, we see that the story begins on Sunday, "Well, one Sunday....". Then time changes as the week progresses, "During the week after...". Also, we notice that another day is involved as we progress from the Midsummer Night, to the day where William dies. I think that including dates and times such as this help to make the story to seem very, very real compared to an imaginary fantasy. Hardy has included all the main characteristics of a ghost story, in 'The Superstitious Man's Story'. The main elements of a ghost story usually consist of the use of churches, death, dreams, old houses, dark atmosphere, ghosts, strange late night occurrences and legends.

    • Word count: 1671
  9. "What do the minor characteristics contribute to the novel?"

    'How nice it must seem!' said Liddy, with the fixed features of mental realization. 'And you wouldn't have him?' 'He wasn't quite good enough for me.'" Although Liddy's main role is to provide the reader with the characteristics of Bathsheba, she has also serves the purpose of moving the plot along. In fact, one of the most essential developments in the story was sparked by a comment from Liddy, the decision to send Boldwood the Valentine card which later lead to his complete psychological breakdown: " ' What fun it would be to send it to the stupid old Boldwood, and how he would wonder!'

    • Word count: 1897
  10. In 'Far From the Madding Crowd', Thomas Hardy examines different types of love. Consider the relationships Bathsheba has with Gabriel, Boldwood and Troy; consider also Troy's relationship with Fanny Robin.

    She was an unusual for a woman of her time because she was very independent. She also refused her first offer of marriage although penniless and living with her aunt. Women at this time relied heavily on marriage. Women at that time often also married for security. Bathsheba is quite teasing with men, for example, when Gabriel Oak holds her hand, she suggests: "But I suppose you are thinking you would like to kiss it? You may if you want to." But when Gabriel says, "I will." She instantly says, "No you wont!" This shows that she is teasing, and she can get some men crazy about her.

    • Word count: 1238
  11. By the end of 'Far From The Madding Crowd.' Bathsheba does not deserve Gabriel as a husband. Examine this statement with reference to her relationships with Oak, Boldwood and Troy

    At the beginning of the book Gabriel is managing his own, small sheep farm. As Bathsheba originally worked next to Gabriel's farm he noticed her a lot and therefore he asks Bathsheba to marry him. Bathsheba however bluntly refuses Gabriel after flirting somewhat with him. She does not really want to get married or at least not to Gabriel. She says she does not love Gabriel. She says 'I want someone to tame me; I am to independent.' Bathsheba here admits that she is a bit wild and independent.

    • Word count: 1704
  12. Of the Three Suitors, Which Do You Think Would Be the Most Suitable To Marry Bathsheba?

    The quote below shows this. It also shows how she wanted to be in control and to be the one in charge. By being more a mystery it meant she had the upper hand in the relationship. Oak "I don't know your name..." Bathsheba "I would just as soon not tell it - rather not. There is no reason either why I should as you will probably never have much to do with me" Oak eventually found out her name when he went and asked her aunt. However, you could see signs of her wanting to be courted and chased.

    • Word count: 1492
  13. Consider carefully which of Bathsheba’s three suitors, Oak, Troy and Baldwood, possessed the qualities most likely to make Bathsheba a good husband.

    To know which of these three men would make Bathsheba the best husband, we must first know what kind of woman Bathsheba is. She is the owner of a prosperous farm, of which belonged to her family. She has an impetuous nature - for example, when she and Oak got into an arguament, she instantly sacked Gabriel. This is a good example of how this can be a destructive and hurtful trait of Bathsheba's. Bathsheba is a vain woman - at the beggining of the novel we see her looking into a mirror and admiring herself.

    • Word count: 1076
  14. One of the great strengths of Far From The Madding Crowd is Hardys contrasting portrayals of Gabriel Oak and Sergeant Frank Troy. Discuss this observation on the novel

    Oak is unlucky in love and in life. He fails time and time again to get Bathsheba to marry him, and when he loses his livelihood she is his first, unselfish thought: ??thank God I?m not married: what would she have done in the poverty now coming upon me!?? This shows that Oak puts other people first and is optimistic. He does not focus on the loss of his money and his farm, but on the good fortune that Bathsheba had not married him.

    • Word count: 1912
  15. Examine the Part played by Obsession in Far from the Madding Crowd

    The novel starts with Oak as he sees ?an ornamental spring waggon? with Bathsheba inside. She unwraps a ?small swing looking-glass? and gazes at herself, without showing any ?necessity whatever? for looking. Oak comments that ?the greatest of [her faults]? is she is obsessed with her own beauty. This vanity is continued for the majority of the book. An example of this is when Bathsheba has learnt sheep ?have broken fence? and eaten young clover. Hardy mentions that she was wearing a ?rather dashing velvet dress?, which was ?carefully put on before a glass?.

    • Word count: 1436

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