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Far From the Madding Crowd

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Introduction

Far From the Madding Crowd by Suraj Shah (This coursework was awarded an A grade - 20/25) At the end of the novel 'Far From the Madding Crowd' Bathsheba marries Oak for various reasons. I will be discussing these reasons in the following paragraphs. One of the obvious reasons would be that Oak is the only one left due to Troy's death and Boldwood's imprisonment. On the other hand, she could have chosen not to marry Oak and remain single for her remaining years. However, she did marry him because of other reasons, which is what will be discussed in the rest of this essay. Bathsheba didn't want to marry Boldwood due to his personality, way of life and his motives. If we were to consider these aspects of Boldwood we would be able to understand why she didn't want to marry him. Boldwood is a wealthy gentleman farmer and a bachelor of forty. He was a Puritan where he believed that there should be no fun every Sunday, but to just sit and read the bible. However, this is what it was like for him all the time where in his house 'the atmosphere was that of a Puritan Sunday lasting all the week.' This character is completely in contrast to that of Bathsheba's because she wants to have excitement all the time. She tells Oak this when he makes a proposal to her: 'I want somebody to tame me, I am too independent, and you would never be able to, I know.' ...read more.

Middle

He is also foolishly and naively presumptuous, expecting Bathsheba to say yes the instant he asks her to marry him. He thinks that the pursuit of love is a simple and straightforward affair; but in this novel he discovers the opposite is true. However, Oak is a 'young man of sound judgement,' being honest and hard working. For example, he immediately discerns Bathsheba's character that of being 'vain.' He even knows about Troy's character, warning Bathsheba of this, but she takes no notice. He is very practical and trustworthy, being able help out in a crisis like that of Bathsheba's where there her hayricks were on fire. Unfortunately, she does not realise that Troy is tricking her and that Oak is the right one for her through his ways. She is too 'vain' to realise this and that is why she falls into Troy's trap. She refuses to marry Oak because she wants excitement and, therefore, she marries Troy who is just tricking her. Otherwise, Oak is the right one overall out of the three men. Oak has a high social status and receives respect because he is a farmer. If we look at Oaks history we will find that he has never experienced love or a sort of relationship similar to that of Bathsheba's and Troy's. However, he is in a way wise in this case because he advises Bathsheba not to marry Troy. We, as the readers, know that what Oak is saying is right because we have seen what Troy was like with Fanny. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is also seen as being capricious where she goes from one man to another: 'hearts were imagined as lost and won.' She gives the impression of not being wise enough to discern Troy's character. However, Bathsheba soon becomes mature and wise towards the end of the novel where she eventually realises that Oak is the man she should marry. From all the above we can see who of these three male suitors was right for Bathsheba and why he was. That man is Gabriel Oak, who loved her genuinely, tenderly and patiently from the moment he first saw her to the very last line of the book. He had never given up on her, had never let her be harmed in anyway and always gave her advice which was sound and right, even if she refused to accept it. In the end, Bathsheba admitted to him that if he had only been more forward then he would have been the first choice if it had even come to that. Troy was obviously the worst possible husband for her because of his gambling, drinking and womanising vices, but mainly because he still loved Fanny Robin. Bathsheba had just been a passing fancy whom he quickly got tired of. Boldwood's relationship with Bathsheba was much more genuine and acceptable at the start but tragically it became a fatal obsession for poor desperate Boldwood. Gabriel's relationship with her was a lengthy one, tried and tested, totally unselfish. Bathsheba was indeed very fortunate that Gabriel was patient enough to wait until she matured enough to recognise his good qualities. As in most good stories, the best man wins in the end. Suraj Shah 1 ...read more.

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