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In Far from the Madding Crowd the major characters act out against a background of village life, as represented by such characters as Liddy, Joseph Poorgrass, Jan Coggan and Cainy Ball. Discuss the importance of the interaction between

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Introduction

In Far from the Madding Crowd the major characters act out against a background of village life, as represented by such characters as Liddy, Joseph Poorgrass, Jan Coggan and Cainy Ball. Discuss the importance of the interaction between the major and the minor characters. In Far from the Madding Crowd, the author makes it clear that he treats city life with disdain and admires the simple rural life that can be found in the country. To show this, he has added several characters who are meant to be the embodiment of everything simple and rustic. Joseph Poorgrass for example, seems to have a great love for drink. Jan Coggan also, has that particular shortcoming. "And so you see 'twas beautiful ale, and I wished to value his kindness as much as I could, and not to be so ill-mannered as to drink only a thimbleful, which would have been insulting to the man's generosity." This makes the reader laugh because we think that drinking that much would be rude and Jan Coggan is trying to prove otherwise. Although Thomas Hardy approves of the country folk, he is willing subject them to affectionate ridicule which in turn, makes the reader fond of them. Another example namely Cainy Ball, seems to be an unfortunate creature who always manages to do everything wrong or get into a scrape or another. Even his name was an unfortunate accident. "His pore mother, not being a Scripture-read woman, made a mistake at his christening, thinking 'twas Abel killed Cain and called en Cain meaning Abel all the time." We can't help but express amusement at the funniness of the situation he is in which is the author's intention. The language used here is ungrammatically correct and the accent portrays the impoverished speech patterns of the country folk. Thomas hardy to tries to bring them to live as much as possible in this way. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, she told Mrs Coggan to tell Boldwood that to "say that I can't see him- that will do." Instead, Ms Coggan says that and then adds a little more information to justify the reason. She tells Mr Boldwood that "Miss is dusting bottles, sir, and is quite a object- that's why 'tis." This makes us smile, and at the same time admire the frankness of country folk . Another example is when Boldwood was convicted, they all hoped that he wouldn't be given the death sentence although he had killed Troy. ("A petition was addressed to the home secretary, advancing the circumstanced which appeared to justify a request for a reconsideration of the sentence.") They still respected him for what he was before the whole affair with Bathsheba happened. Also, they understood Boldwood enough not to go to the trial. Jan Coggan says that "Twill disturb his mind more than anything to see us there staring at him as if he were a show." We admire the way they understand basic manners and show respect towards this man. In the city, there would probably be a big to-do about it. Thomas Hardy shows us that country folks are more well mannered inside while the city folk only have superficial manners. One last example: at the fire, everyone co-operated. It seemed like the whole village was there to try to help. Everybody lent a helping hand. "On the ground, the groups of villagers were still occupied in doing all they could to keep down the conflagration" Again, Thomas Hardy emphasises the merits of country life and how everybody cares about the problems of others and how they are willing to help in times of need. On the other hand, with this fire incident, Thomas Hardy creates a scene of chaos and doom before Gabriel's arrival. Once again, the minor characters aid him. In this case, it is to show Gabriel's worth. ...read more.

Conclusion

An extension of this idea of this is the way in which Gabriel strived to be accepted by the people in Weatherbury by trying to conform to what their society was like. Although he wasn't used to drinking and eating things with layers of ash and grime on them, he pretended that he didn't really mind so as to make the villagers believe that he didn't think that it was beneath himself to do such things. "I never fuss about dirt in its pure state, and when I know what sort it is." This shows that the opinion of people at that time did indeed matter a lot to individuals just as it does in our own society today. If Gabriel hadn't acted in the way he did, he probably would have never had been accepted into this circle of workers and instead would be isolated from the rest of them. Troy doesn't try to act like the workers around him at all. Thomas Hardy in this way makes the minor characters important as the main character's integration and happiness in the society is dependant on the approval of the minor characters. Thomas Hardy's use of minor characters in this way isn't very conventional. Of course, all authors make use of minor characters to help them move the plot along in place, bridges gaps that don't flow and to provide insight into the doings of other characters. But Thomas Hardy takes this one step further as he actually brings out these characters by putting them in the spotlight more frequently than the norm. Most minor characters in books are not meant to be remembered whereas in Far from the madding crowd, these characters are well loved and have made a distinct impression through Thomas Hardy's skill at portraying them. By incorporating minor characters in this subtle but important way, perhaps Thomas Hardy is saying that the small characters count; that they make a difference. convention ?? ?? ?? ?? Zhi Ying Ho English coursework: Pre 1914 century prose 23rd March 2004 ...read more.

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