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Examine the nature of their relationship with particular emphasis on revealing how Gabriel Oak “Educates” Bathsheba Everdeme until she becomes the character that is truly worthy of him.

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Introduction

Consider the two characters of * Bathsheba Everdeme * Gabriel Oak Examine the nature of their relationship with particular emphasis on revealing how Gabriel Oak "Educates" Bathsheba Everdeme until she becomes the character that is truly worthy of him. Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdeme are two very contrasting characters. During the course of the book this contrast slowly disintegrates until Bathsheba is worthy of Gabriel. This division between the characters is seen most clearly at the start of the book. When observing each person's initial descriptions, it is easy to see that they are both interested in different things and are very different people. They both have different aspirations and live two very different ways of life. In many parts of the book, Bathsheba's pride seems to separate the characters the most. It also creates a barrier to her moral insight. Not only this, but Bathsheba is a rather restless individual, hungering for social advancement. She is a in a false search of romance and does not wish to lead a slow life. She requires wooing and a man that can surprise and impress her. Unfortunately Bathsheba is impressed by the wrong qualities. This view of the ideal man changes as the book progresses, as a "black hearted" man hurts her. At first, she wishes for a man that will take notice of her and tell her that she is beautiful. This is a result of her insecurity and vanity and is heightened by the fact that she is always in search for people to admire and befriend her. For this reason, she takes great care in her appearance and looks. The book promotes this point by focusing on Bathsheba's physical beauty, rather than inner beauty. One of the quotes, 'she is a woman in a man's world' suggests that Bath has a confident and strong aura, with many of the characteristics of a male. ...read more.

Middle

There is dramatic irony present, for she does not see devastating fate foreseen in her future. Otherwise, if she were to stay with Oak, he is the safest option, perhaps not the most romantic, but definitely where true love stands in Oaks eyes. Her thoughtlessness and "care-free" approach remains throughout the book, she expresses this through her non-consideration of consequences and feelings when sending Boldwood the valentine, leading him on and giving him attention made his mind obsessed and bedazzled by her. "When Bathsheba's figure shone upon the farmer's eyes it lightened him up as the moon lights up a great tower". Oaks mind is very plain, he knows he is the better Shepard and farmer but remains modest and un-vain. He shows his talent well, when he, among all the farmers is the only one with the knowledge to cure the sheep (when they ate too much clover). Because of this, Bath was forced to call upon him for the second time to help; she was to make a decision between her sheep and her pride. At first, the stubborn streak in her character rejected his call of assistance. With no choice in the matter, her way around the problem was to send someone else to ask for help, rather than her do it herself. This was obviously noted by Oak as he sent the messenger back, asking for a "civil" approach. In doing so he was teaching her a lesson, making her stand up to her self, not to become weak in asking, but to be strong in character. She was to request his aid in a letter. From then onwards he remained on the farm. Another important aspect is when Bathsheba is initially described. All emphasis is on her beauty and vanity and not on important qualities such as a good will. She is seen looking in a mirror and seems only concerned about her appearance. ...read more.

Conclusion

"O it is my fault-how can I live! O heaven, how can I live!" She sees the marriage to Boldwood as a debt, which she is obliged to pay off. Bathsheba also accepts his hand in marriage for he showed great strength of emotion and gave into his strong character just like Troy. However, Boldwood's flattery does not affect Bathsheba as it earlier did with Troy. The admiration of others has no affect on her and being told that he is beautiful would not make her any happier. Bathsheba has changed to the extent that she no longer relishes being in the public eye. Her insecurity has disappeared and her vanity has disintegrated. She desires to wear a black dress rather than something bright and colourful that would attract the eye of others. She does not wish to be beautiful anymore. To complete Bathsheba's cycle of change, she becomes the one who is chasing Oak. When he decides he is going to California, she sees how reliant she has been upon him and how vulnerable she is without him. Oak's pending departure to California is necessary in her cathartic regeneration, as she still believes she has a right to Oak's "hopeless love". Bathsheba is in tears upon Oak's letter of resignation and it prompts her to seek Oak rather than vice-versa, which is a sign of a repentant. Bathsheba is no more the flirty vane materialistic girl as we saw in the beginning of the novel but is now a lady who does not wish to be the centre of attention and wants a quiet simple wedding. On the wedding night she is dressed plainly as she too has become a simpleton just like Oak. "Though so plainly dressed, there was a certain rejuvenated appearance about her". Her past experiences had left an imprint on her personality and life. Bathsheba was now a completely new person, modified to live a happy life. She was like a "rose" that shut and become a "bud again". By Hesham El-Assra 5FV ...read more.

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