• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"How does Hardy treat gender roles in chapter 10 of Far from the Madding Crowd."

Extracts from this document...


"How does Hardy treat gender roles in chapter 10 of Far from the Madding Crowd." Hardy uses many subtle and individual techniques to display gender roles within this chapter. In the main these reciprocate normal behaviour by having a woman in a superior position dominating a lot of men. This idea is known as subversion of gender, and this is the main technique used in this chapter. One must remember that at the time of writing this was sensational, as women were not considered self-reliant. The first thing the reader sees is the chapter heading, and in Hardy's case, he uses chapter headings as a summary for the chapter; "Mistress and Men" implies a Mistress holding power over men. It is this subversion of gender roles, which lends the attraction for ladies of leisure in the 1900s, and also generates humour; as at the time the thought of a woman in control of men would have been laughable. It also serves to impress upon the ladies of leisure that would have read this format of writing, that women could be self-reliant. ...read more.


This corresponds directly to her growth throughout the novel, which ultimately leads to her marrying Oak, as she goes from a na�ve and vain girl, to a mature and sensible woman. Hardy uses positioning to denote status throughout the novel and it is, therefore interesting to note that Bathsheba enters through the "upper end of the old hall," followed by "Liddy". Hardy then gives the impression that Liddy derives her status from her proximity to Bathsheba, "position at her elbow," which suggests that Liddy is a woman following the example of Bathsheba, which is again implied by Hardy at the end of the chapter, "not entirely free from travesty." Also linked to positioning is the fact that Oak stays by the door of the house, which is represented as Bathsheba's heart, and is neither inside nor outside. This symbolises the fact that Bathsheba is still proudly refusing the proposal, but the shepherd has saved the shed from catching fire, so he was neither in nor out of love. Hardy's reversal of the gender roles can lead to instances that would have been ridiculous to the intended Victorian audience, for example the unexpected dismissal of the bailiff. ...read more.


are promiscuous, "scarlet" women, which is ironic when one considers the certain similarities between them and Bathsheba when she is wooing Sergeant Troy. That is, when she marries Sergeant Troy, she becomes subservient, and she takes a deferent view towards Troy. We can also see Bathsheba's dominant nature reflected again in the behaviour of Laban Tall, whose wife dominates him, "I be his lawful wife!" Bathsheba has a large speech towards the end of the chapter detailing the change of gender as she warns the men, "Now mind you have a mistress instead of a master." This dominant, and imperious voice is relevant to her status, but many people at the time would have found this laughable, "because I am a woman I don't understand the difference between right and wrong," which suggests one of the conflicts the play is built around; good against evil, peace against war or Shepherd Oak against Sergeant Troy. In conclusion, Hardy uses many linguistic devices to build up an impression of a dominant mistress, and subservient men. The main of these is the subversion of gender as Hardy reciprocates the normal positions of males and females Craig Brown 10h ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Far From the Madding Crowd section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Far From the Madding Crowd essays

  1. 'More sinned against than sinning.' Is this the way Hardy presents women in 'Far ...

    Her vanity is her main sin throughout the book. Vanity is seen as a bad thing even nowadays it is and it made her seem like a mean person however; Oak still had feelings for her. Mr Boldwood is another man in Bathsheba's life who has feelings for her.

  2. Discuss Hardy's Treatment of Women in "Far from the Madding Crowd"

    she took the time to unwrap the package and surveyed herself attentively, "She parted her lips and smiled." It is, then, this vanity, which makes Bathsheba want to break Boldwood's reserve - he is the only man in the Corn Exchange who pays her no attention.

  1. In Far from the Madding Crowd the major characters act out against a background ...

    Also, when Bathsheba went off with Boldwood and she was afraid of what the men would think of her. She asked Gabriel "if the men made any observations on my going behind the sedge with Mr Boldwood yesterday." This shows that what the workers think of her matter quite a

  2. In The Withered Arm how does Thomas Hardy present the characters of Rhoda and ...

    Analyse physical description of Rhoda - quote - what does this tell us about her life? Contrast with milker's estimation of Lodge's age - quote - shows she has suffered more for their indiscretions than he has. Also implicit contrast between his new wife - quote - and Rhoda - we understand why she feels bitter.

  1. far from the madding crowd

    They provide comedy of character, comedy of situation, and verbal humor arising out of their handling of the language. Another minor theme is that nature provides a solace to the soul. This theme is developed through the character of Gabriel Oak who lives in peace and harmony with nature, working

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

    This change of Bathsheba's character is show by the fact the she ceases to "laugh" by the concluding chapters of the novel.

  1. Looking closely at the language, examine how Hardy presents the meeting between Bathsheba and ...

    Troy says �not too cruel!�. Here, Troy is pretending to be scared and once again is mocking her. Once the knot has been undone Troy says: �I wish it had been the knot of knots, which there�s no untying�.

  2. What do we learn about the role of women in the 19th century from ...

    Troy doesn't love, and he makes excuses not to marry her. As Troy does not love her, he does not show respect towards her and nor do Troy's colleagues, the soldiers. In the end, Troy does agree to marry her but chaos surrounds the marriage.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work