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"Far From the Madding Crowd" Why Did Bathsheba Send the Valentine and What Were the Consequences?

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Introduction

"Far From the Madding Crowd" By Thomas Hardy. Why Did Bathsheba Send the Valentine and What Were the Consequences? Chapter XIII Sortes Sanctorum: the valentine. Bathsheba is a beautiful young female farmer who gets noticed by everyone (men that is) and loves being the centre of attention. This is what is happening at the corn-market in Casterbridge. Bathsheba is not interested in anyone but enjoys the interest that everyone gives her. However she is aware that one person isn't taking any notice of her, yet she feels a slight attraction. "A very good-looking man, upright about forty," is how she describes this mysterious man. He is Farmer Boldwood, but Bathsheba doesn't know this. When Boldwood comes to the door Bathsheba is already curious. She doesn't even know him, nor has she ever met him but she is already questioning who he is and thinking of the possibility of marriage to him. The following is a quotation taken from the book when Boldwood comes to Bathsheba's door and her maid answers it. "Who is Mr. Boldwood?" said Bathsheba. "A gentleman - farmer at Upper Weatherbury." "Married?" "No, Miss." "How old is he?" "Forty I should say - very handsome - rather stern looking." ...read more.

Middle

Liddy and Bathsheba laughed as they thought it added more realism to the prank. The Valentine was addressed to Boldwood and later sent. "So very idly and unreflectingly was this deed done. Of love, as a spectacle Bathsheba had a fair knowledge; but of love subjectively she knew nothing." This quotation from the book sums up Bathsheba. Bathsheba would recognise love if she saw it between two people, but she herself has never been and has never known the feeling of love and how it can affect someone emotionally. Bathsheba never really meant to send the card, but after Liddy suggested playing the prank, Bathsheba had played a major part in it. It was a decision she had to make on the spur of the moment. She decided to send it basically to see what Boldwood's reaction would be. She is so vain and loves the attention she gets from all the men in the village and so she also wants Boldwood's attention. She will never be in love with him; she just wants to know that he wants her. Just to know that Boldwood wants something he cannot have, so that she feels a sense of power and domination that men usually have over women. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bathsheba likes Boldwood but she does not want him. She doesn't want to be his possession or anyone else's for that matter. She is too independent, and she thinks that as long as she doesn't get married, she doesn't have to be a man's possession, she doesn't realise that to actually get married you need a man. Bathsheba also likes the novelty of being absolute mistress of a farm and farmhouse and the novelty hasn't worn off yet. When Boldwood finally found out that his "secret admirer" was Bathsheba, the consequences were dangerous. Boldwood became obsessive which had followed initial curiosity. He takes the proposal of marriage very seriously. He reacts like this because of the sort of man he is, humourless, doesn't see anything as a joke, a plain and lonely middle-aged man with no experience of women. Boldwood then confronts Bathsheba and makes a proposal of marriage, refusing to take no for an answer. This is because he has never had the opportunity like this and he is a very grave man. All this time his curiosity and passion has been kept under control but he is now ready to explode. He takes the proposal of marriage very seriously. He sees no humour in the valentine whatsoever. This obsession leads him to ruins. Nadine Harris 4M English Mr. Dougall ...read more.

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