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'Far From The Madding Crowd' by Thomas Hardy - Trace the development of the relationship between Bathsheba and Bolwood.

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English Assignment 'Far From The Madding Crowd' by Thomas Hardy Trace the development of the relationship between Bathsheba and Bolwood. (From the sending of the valentine to Boldwood's second proposal.) * * * The initial association between the two characters Bathsheba and Bolwood is very different when compared to the relationship that exists when Boldwood proposes to Bathsheba for a second time. At fist Boldwood does not respond to her beauty as all other men do, Bathsheba is annoyed at his indifference. Her vanity causes her to make the disastrous mistake of sending him a valentine. "Let's toss as men do." "Toss this hymn book -" "Open Teddy - shut Boldwood." "The book went fluttering in the air and came down shut." The quote above clearly shows that it was fate, not a definite decision, which decided that Bathsheba should send the valentine to Boldwood. Hardy describes Boldwood as Bathsheba's "Daniel in her kingdom." What Hardy means is one who persists, like Daniel, in defiance. ...read more.


Boldwood is a man of deep feelings with a sensitive and passionate nature. These passions are stirred and awoken by the valentine. He becomes so obsessed with Bathsheba that she occupies his every thought it seems to possess him. This behaviour is proven when he sees Bathsheba at the market place. " Boldwood looked at her - not silly, critically, or understandingly, but blankly at gaze," " His eyes, she knew, were following her everywhere." Bathsheba knew now that her idle joke had resulted in Boldwood noticing her, as other men did. She did not value the attention she gained as it came as the result of valentine that had neither meaning nor sincerity. "This was a triumph; and had it come naturally, such a triumph would have been sweeter to her for this piquing delay. But it had been brought about by misdirected ingenuity, and she valued it only, as she valued an artificial flower or wax fruit." When they next encounter each other Boldwood sees Bathsheba in her meadow "engaged in the operation of making a lamb 'fake'"- feed from a new mother. ...read more.


Let us go on." Boldwood's second proposal takes place after the shearers' supper when Boldwood and Bathsheba find themselves alone. Bathsheba regrets the pain she has caused him. Boldwood realises this and, by targeting her remorse, manages to persuade her into considering his proposal. "I will try to love you." "And if I believe in any way that I shall make you a good wife I shall indeed be willing to marry you." "But remember this distinctly, I don't promise yet." Bathsheba only considers accepting the proposal because she wants to repair the damage she has done by sending the valentine. - "She had been awestruck at her past temerity, and was struggling to make amends without thinking whether the sin quite deserved the penalty she was schooling herself to pay." - Here Hardy suggests that Bathsheba does not deserve such a harsh punishment. She should not have to marry Boldwood in order to atone for her thoughtless behaviour. For committing a foolish act Bathsheba is prepared to sacrifice herself in marriage to Bolwood, to pay for it. Stacey Barlow ...read more.

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