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Explore how Hardy treats the theme of True Love in "Far from the Madding Crowd"

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Richard Thompson 10o "All Romances End in Marriage" Explore how Hardy treats the theme of True Love in "Far from the Madding Crowd" In Far from the Madding Crowd, the main theme of the novel is based upon the value of true love. Bathsheba and Gabriel are the most significant characters in the book. The book constantly revolves around Bathsheba and how she changes the lives of three men forever. Her charms, vanity and the way in which she entraps men leaves one man shot and another locked in prison. All the way through the novel she contradicts the role of women in the nineteenth century and she does not follow the same ways of life as the other women. All the way through the novel the reader hopes Gabriel and Bathsheba will be together by the use of fate and allusions and the aspects of true love that Hardy explores. When Gabriel and Bathsheba first meet, he sees a carriage with her sitting on it. Gabriel heads up to the carriage and sees that there is a dispute over the toll. The reader can tell Gabriel seems to be interested in Bathsheba as he watches her carefully in her carriage and observes everything she does. When Bathsheba refuses to pay the gatekeeper Gabriel approaches and gives the keeper the money and makes his first judgement upon Bathsheba which is an important one as lets the reader see how her character changes: "That's a handsome maid.... But she has her faults... Vanity" Sometime later Oak sees Bathsheba riding through his plantation and sees her lying on the horse while riding it with out side-saddle riding which reveals herself in a way that she would not around other people. ...read more.


She kindly asks Gabriel to tell the others that she will not be marrying Boldwood if they are thinking of any such thing. Gabriel agrees and gives his opinion of Bathsheba's conduct with Boldwood, which Bathsheba really doesn't like to hear "My opinion is (since you ask it) that you are greatly to blame for playing pranks upon a man like Mr Boldwood, merely as a pastime. Leading on a man you don't care for is not a praiseworthy action. And even Miss Everdene if you seriously inclined towards him you might have let him discover it in some way of true loving-kindness, and not by sending him a valentines letter." Bathsheba is so shocked and offended by this opinion she asks him to leave the farm. This shows she is still childish and because she cannot handle one opinion, which is entirely true, she gets upset and fires Gabriel. Hardy is letting us know that Bathsheba is still a little immature to handle true love at the moment as she is acting like a little spoilt girl who has to have her way. Once Gabriel has left she realises she needs his assistance on the farm as her sheep were dying and the only person in the area who could perform the operation to save them was Gabriel. Bathsheba has to swallow her pride and send for him. She sends for him in a rather disrespectful manner "Jump on the bay mare, and ride across, and say he must return instantly:" Bathsheba's disrespect allows Gabriel to refuse. Again she tries but this time in a more proper and polite way. She sent him a letter with "Do not desert me, Gabriel" Gabriel comes at once and saves her sheep and gets his previous job back as she re-offers it him. ...read more.


This shows yet again how she is in comparison with other women in the 19th century. Normally she would be expected to bereave, it would be her role but not Bathsheba she is different and more modern than other women. During the Christmas party Boldwood asked Bathsheba for her answer and she reluctantly said yes "Very well. I'll marry you in six years from this day if we both live," Boldwood was delighted and he then gave her a ring, which she was forced, to where for that night. Soon after they got back to the party Hardy brought a great thrill to the novel as Troy showed up to the party, cloaked. When Troy tried to grab Bathsheba, Boldwood shot him dead. With Troy dead and Boldwood in prison the reader now knows that Hardy has left a big opening for Bathsheba's heart. The only man left and the most decent man is Gabriel Oak. Finally Hardy gives the readers what they have wanted through out the whole novel. Gabriel asks Bathsheba to marry her and she accepts, they are soon married and the novel ends happily. Throughout this novel Hardy has shown three different types of love, obsessive, infatuation and true love. Hardy is trying to say that there are many types of love, some are not real but there is one type that is real and that is true love. True love being the type of love where you love the person for who they are not just what they look like. Hardy also shows that Bathsheba resembles a 20th century woman more than a 19th century woman. She is modern and she is very independent. Her independence is one of her main qualities along with her vanity, which slowly faded away. ...read more.

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