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How does Thomas Hardy Present Gabriel Oak as a Hero?

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How does Thomas Hardy Present Gabriel Oak as a Hero? Gabriel Oak's character has developed a lot in 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. He started off as 'clumsy and foolish' and he ended up as 'heroic'. A hero is a man admired for achievements and noble qualities; In this case this word does not refer to someone with superhuman powers! The first description of Gabriel Oak: 'on working days, he was a man of sound judgement, easy motions, proper dress and general good character'. Hardy's description implies that there is nothing special about Farmer Oak; that he is just an average man. Hardy also states, that on a Sunday, a non-working day; Oak is a kind of pepper and salt mixture. This means that he is normal; he is a man with 'balanced' morals. Another thing that Hardy uses to bring across Oak's personality is the way he dresses. This gives people more idea about Oak's character and personality. ...read more.


This lost him a lot of money as the sheep were not insured and ruined his livelihood. His first thought was of pity, he felt pity for the sheep, after this Gabriel muttered: "Thank God I am not married: what would she have done in the poverty now coming upon me!" This proves Oak to be a very humble and kind man, he did not think of himself or the debts he now had. This demonstrates another noble quality that Farmer Oak has: selflessness. It also shows Oak's true feelings about Bathsheba. In chapter 6, Hardy also demonstrates Oak's heroism: there was a fire at the farm in weatherbury, a rick of straw had caught fire in a barn. There was a crowd of spectators all panicking, none of them new what to do. Gabriel immediately and calmly took charge of the panicking crowd. He called for a ladder and began putting out the fire himself with no concern of his own personal safety. ...read more.


He goes back inside to fetch help but everybody has passed out because they were drunk. Gabriel, rather than leaving it and hoping it would not rain, begins work atop the rick with no concern for his own safety. This is a very helpful and heroic thing to do. In chapter 37, Gabriel Oak is working on top of one of the ricks of straw in a powerful lightning storm. Bathsheba comes up to help Oak; they then begin to engage in an intimate conversation in which Bathsheba turns to Gabriel for guidance. Once again, Farmer Oak puts his own feelings aside and guides Bathsheba. Thomas Hardy made Gabriel Oak the hero in this novel, at the end of the novel, Gabriel's noble qualities finally paid off and he managed to marry Bathsheba Everdene; he was always the one standing by her side, supporting and helping her in whatever she did. Hardy implied this by his name- he was a 'rooted' form of support. This shows Farmer Oak as a true hero, putting his feelings aside to help others. ...read more.

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