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Far from the madding crowd - Close study of a passage from chapter 46: The Gurgoyle.

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Introduction

Close study of a passage from chapter 46: The Gurgoyle Chapter 47 of "Far From the Madding Crowd" is written in a dramatic and sensationalist style, similar to the popular gothic novels of the time. The language and literary techniques used are closely related to this central theme of the passage. Hardy's novel was serialised there is a build up to the final climatic chapter of each series. This explains the increase in tension shown by the horrific description of the gargoyle and the increasing velocity of the "liquid parabola" it spouts into Fanny's grave. Increasing the readers' apprehension before the final scene of series 10 in which Troy's "Adventures by the shore" nearly result in his death. Gothic tradition is highlighted in this scene by detailed description of the church's architecture, for example the "exceptionally prominent" gargoyles. Included in the church's decoration, as they had become fashionable during the gothic revival. Also via figurative language such as "like ingredients in a cauldron" which adds to the gothic theme running through the passage by crating create an air of the supernatural. Gargoyles' uses were two-fold; firstly they acted as a drainage system, however more importantly their design was "grotesque" as this was believed to frighten malevolent spirits, thus acting as guardians. Therefore in this instance the gargoyle which destroys all evidence of "Troy's Romanticism" acts as Fanny's protector. ...read more.

Middle

The, man made, gargoyle directing "all its vengeance" into Fanny's grave also shows destructive force. Artificiality of Troy and the gargoyle represents the deceptive and immoral aspects of urbanisation at the time of the novel. Therefore portraying Hardy's animosity toward all that urban life stood for. Instead Hardy favoured the rural landscape and lifestyle. This is shown by the fact that whilst he admires the "gothic art" and purpose of the church, he sees there "Great Barn" as its "superior." This superiority is shown by the fact that the barn "embodied practices which had suffered no mutilation at the hands of time." Hardy writes that the barn gives the viewer a "satisfied sense of...continuity." It is this aspect of the country, which Hardy holds in the highest regard. Therefore characters such as Gabriel Oak are exceptional as they are at equilibrium with their surroundings and their honourable characteristics are unchanging through adversity. They also act as contrast to Troy who is referred to as " a trickster" and whose character is under constant modification. Hardy uses this technique as it increases the connotations if Machiavellianism apparent in Troy's character. It also heightens the fact that Troy is out of place and unsuited for the honourable, hard working class of men of rural lifestyle. Particularly apparent in chapter 36 where his "revel" puts a seasons work at risk. ...read more.

Conclusion

As such the gargoyle causing Troy to leave will have a lessened effect on her than if he had simply abandoned her without reason. Finally "Troy's Romanticism" is finalised as Fanny rejects him and it becomes clear to him that in this passage that he is no longer wanted or needed. So in leaving "silently and unobserved" he leaves no physical trace of his existence behind to further trouble the inhabitants of Weatherbury. The chapters following this passage are also effected by the results it achieves. Firstly it increases the tension before the climax of the following scene where the reader believes Troy dead by his own hand. Secondly it also allows the characters of Weatherbury to in effect start over and recover from the effects Troy had. Finally in chapter 53 the fact that Troy has left only to return and blight Boldwood's plans again full the farmer's anger giving him the courage to kill Troy. In conclusion Hardy's style and literary techniques are characteristic of the gothic novel. Imagery and figurative language are highly prevent aspects, which emphasise each of his points as fully as possible. Diction and vocabulary also contribute to the highly visual impression formed by his reader. The passage also concludes the relationship between Fanny and Troy, whilst completing "Fanny's Revenge." Thus the novel is able to develop and new aspects can be drawn into the narrative, without becoming overshadowed by the domination of characters such as Troy. Frayer Walker ...read more.

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