• 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. 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.

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

    lot as she was quite disturbed by the fact that they assumed that she would marry Boldwood and that "Boldwood's name and her own were to be flung over pulpit together before the end of the year." Thomas Hardy made it a point to create our first impression of Gabriel through the opinions of country folks.

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

    so is running away. This makes the reader really intrigued as to who she is and how she will fit into the story (narrative hook). One similarity between both their entrances is that they had some connection to blood or death.

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

    However in death, her role and effects on other characters becomes pivotal. Therefore the destruction of Troy's efforts on her grave are symbolic of her finally conjuring the strength to reject his attentions. Hardy uses this scene as a metaphor for his resentment of cities and those who dwell on them.

  1. Far from the madding crowd - Show how Hardy helps his readers to understand ...

    It would take a lot of courage for a woman to say this to the person she loves, let alone a man, and Bathsheba replies by basically saying he isn't enough of a man to tame her. She only sees Gabriel as an "every-day sort of man", neither attractive enough nor exciting enough to be with.

  2. A comparison of the storm scenes in lord of the flies by William Golding ...

    The storm may come into existence because of the tension between all of the different men as they all fell for Bathshba. ' All were tinged in monochrome as if beheld through stained glass', this shows much of what I have said above, monochrome, meaning black and white or shady,

  1. Some Victorian readers condemned Bathsheba as a ‘hussy’ who did not deserve to win ...

    Bathsheba loves to be the whole centre of attention and, while Farmer Boldwood is not noticing her, she is not. She sets about to make him notice her. Sending a valentine was unheard of at the time for a middle-class Victorian lady and proposing marriage thought of as even more absurd.

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

    When Bathsheba�s dress is pinned to the ground �forcibly�, there is a suggestion of attack. �Have I hurt you mate?�. This is showing Troy�s rash personality. This also shows Troy�s class when his tone changes once he finds out that she is a woman.

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