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Far from the madding crowd - How does Hardy present the idea 'the pain of love' in his depiction of the relationships between Bathsheba Everdene and Sergeant Troy, and Bathsheba and Farmer Boldwood?

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Introduction

How does Hardy present the idea 'the pain of love' in his depiction of the relationships between Bathsheba Everdene and Sergeant Troy, and Bathsheba and Farmer Boldwood? Thomas Hardy, born in 1840, divided his works into character and environment, romance and fantasies and novels of ingenuity, in which case Far from the Madding Crowd is in the first category. The original works were in the form of a series in the Cornhill magazine, which was so successful he was able to give up his job (as an architect) and devote his time entirely to writing. Hardy is known for his controversial novels such as Jude the Obscure, but his best work is the world renowned Far From the Madding Crowd, which expresses the journey of Bathsheba Everdene and her loyal farmer, Gabriel Oak, who encounter love but at the terrible price of death and despair. This, perhaps reflecting the tragic loss of his own wife in 1912, sixteen years before his own death, in 1928. Bathsheba and Sergeant Troy's first meeting outside the Fir Plantation, Troy flirts and compliments Bathsheba, by taking more time then is necessary to untie the knot that binds them. Bathsheba, however she appears to be quite uncivilized towards him, "Thank you for the sight of such a beautiful face! ...read more.

Middle

Bathsheba's vanity, encouraged by Liddy, caused her to send a Valentine to Boldwood in the attempt to get him to notice her and partly as a joke, with the accidental seal of "Marry Me". Boldwood, having received the Valentine, become besotted with Bathsheba and soon called on her to accept the invitation of marriage. Though the answer of course was not what he expected. "I didn't know...I ought never to have dreamt of sending that valentine - forgive me, sir - it was a wanton thing which no woman with any self respect should have done. If you will only pardon my thoughtlessness..." Farmer Boldwood replied... "No, no, no. Don't say thoughtlessness! ... You torture me to say it was done out of thoughtlessness... This outburst again shows the reader that Hardy can express the theme `the pain of love` so vividly. However, Boldwood does not stop and continues to express his want to have her. For example, "I may think of you? Yes, I suppose you may And hope to obtain you? No - do not hope! Let us go on". This obsessiveness driven by the act of Bathsheba's valentine proposes another effect of love. At the end of chapter 19, Hardy tells us that Boldwood is almost spellbound by Bathsheba and by her leaving, he comes out of this stupor, "like the pain of a wound..." ...read more.

Conclusion

Bathsheba's relationship with Troy and Boldwood differ quite drastically. Boldwood is the calm farmer enticed by Bathsheba, and driven to killing another man. Troy is the dashing sergeant who seduces Bathsheba and causes their marriage to disintegrate due to his lies and deceit. Bathsheba also reacts differently to the two men. To Boldwood she thinks she is not good enough for him, and is almost scared of his persistence- 'She was frightened as well as agitated by his vehemence' She also taken aback by Troy, 'Ah! There was a time Frank, when it would have taken a good many promises to other people to drag you away from me.' She also is now quite sad to be married, preferring the unmarried version of him when it was dashing swordplay and romantic courting and love. However it is not the case with the married Troy, "What do you regret?" He asked. "That my romance has come to an end", she relied. The pain of love that the characters encounter, i.e. Boldwood's hopeless love for Bathsheba, and Bathsheba's own foolish love for Troy, and the final act leading to Troy's (perhaps deserved) death, are all excellently and elaborately depicted by the most English of English novelists, in one of the most English of great English novels. By Stephen Daly. ...read more.

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