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

One of the great strengths of Far From The Madding Crowd is Hardys contrasting portrayals of Gabriel Oak and Sergeant Frank Troy. Discuss this observation on the novel

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?One of the great strengths of ?Far From The Madding Crowd? is Hardy?s contrasting portrayals of Gabriel Oak and Sergeant Frank Troy. Discuss this observation on the novel? Perhaps the greatest strength of Hardy?s novels is the excellent portrayals of his main characters. There are, however, many other strengths in ?Far From the Madding Crowd?. For example, there are many descriptions of scenery that punctuate the action in the novel. These show Hardy?s skill as a writer by painting the scene so clearly in the reader?s mind that the characters can really flourish against their backdrop. The themes of love, persistence and nature permeate the novel and give it depth, even when the plot slows down. The greatest strength, then, is likely to fall to the characters who drive both the plot and the action. Two of these characters, Oak and Troy, fall in love with Bathsheba Everdene and soon find themselves competing for her hand in marriage. The portrayal of the differences between the characters is clearly an example of Hardy?s strongest work in the novel. Gabriel Oak is a simple man who is very clear on who he is. Whilst Oak is shy, he is also honest and always tells the truth. Oak is described by Bathsheba as ?honest and true? and he often tells her how he feels, ?I love you far more than common?. He doesn?t have the words and the education to express himself properly to Bathsheba, but he is steadfast, keeping to his bottom line, making Bathsheba happy. ...read more.

Middle

Sergeant Troy is a very interesting character who is portrayed, the majority of the time, as selfish, conceited and shallow. We first meet Troy when Fanny Robin reminds him of his promise to marry her, which he had apparently forgotten. Troy sends her away, telling her to meet him at All Souls Church. When Fanny misses the wedding, arriving at All Saints Church instead, Troy refuses to marry her, saying: ?you fool for so fooling me!? This shows that he never had any intention to marry Fanny. Fanny ironically describes Troy as ?a man of great respectability and high honour? this is ironic because it is Gabriel who is ?of high honour?, but doesn?t show it, whereas Tory has no honour, but has a fake charm and respectability even though he is a liar. Troy preys on Fanny, getting her pregnant and, eventually, causing her and the child?s deaths. Troy?s relationship with Bathsheba is even more dastardly than with Fanny. His first action in their relationship is trapping her in his spurs at night. Troy lies and says it was an accident, ?We have got hitched together somehow, I think.? But as it turns out, he was planning the meeting, perhaps stalking Bathsheba through the forest. Bathsheba?s first impression of Troy is that he is ?brilliant in brass and scarlet?. Troy is a soldier, strong and handsome on the outside but arrogant and deceitful on the inside. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fates that Hardy leaves the men with at the end of the novel also show their contrasting personalities. Troy is shot in public, causing Boldwood?s imprisonment- his death is open and flamboyant, reflecting on his life and his personality. In contrast, Oak?s ending is a happy, quiet marriage in the rain to the woman he loves; ?At home by the fire, whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.? In conclusion, the greatest strength of ?Far From The Madding Crowd? to me is the contrasting portrayals of Oak and Troy. There are, however, many other strengths in the novel, including the themes and the descriptions of scenery. The most important character contrast is between Troy; a selfish philanderer who only thinks of himself and Oak, who is the opposite because he is gentle, kind and honourable. Hardy?s descriptions of Troy and Oak give us a lot of insight into both characters. Hardy?s power with words is never more evident when describing Troy in a nutshell: ?idiosyncrasy and vicissitude had combined to stamp Sergeant Troy as an exceptional being.? Oak and Troy are so different it is easy to understand why the portrayal of Oak and Troy is the novels greatest strength. Hardy sums up the difference between Oak and Troy excellently when he avers: "Troy's deformities lay deep down from a woman's vision, whilst his embellishments were upon the very surface, thus contrasting with homely Oak, whose defects were patent to the blindest, and whose virtues were as metal in a mine." ...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. Marked by a teacher

    symbolism in Hardy's 'Far from the madding crowd'

    3 star(s)

    for each sheep symbolizes the declining prospects of Oak, the rising hopes of Boldwood's mind and the comments made by the rustics -all basing on the same lady.

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

    only married Bathsheba to get to her money and spend it on betting, '"...you have lost more than a hundred pounds in a month by this dreadful horseracing..."' Hardy uses a few sexual references throughout the book generally around Sergeant Troy.

  1. Bathsheba's marriage to Troy?

    His love is not short-lived like that of Troy. It is not possessive like that of Boldwood's, which we shall talk about later, though he is employed as a shepherd for much of the book, he performs all the duties of a bailiff. He is the definition of a true farmer; he loves the land and is in tune

  2. Compare and contrast Troy and Oak as representations of

    Also, his love for the Dorset landscape and surroundings illustrates this point; in this he may remind readers of some of the Romantic writers' fondness for the Lake District. Despite this, Oak is very stoic, and so it is doubtful other characters in the novel would have noticed these qualities.

  1. What is the significance of the character, Fanny Robin in the novel "Far From ...

    we can see that Gabriel cares about Bathsheba being happy with Troy and tries to protect her from the truth. Her life is controlled by fate and chance and this shows how her function for Hardy extends beyond the plot and the development of other characters.

  2. What is the significance of Fanny Robin in Far From The Madding Crowd?

    Fanny Robin is also used by Hardy to reveal different aspect of Bathsheba's character to the reader as her death in particular shows the reader how Bathsheba has changed throughout the course of the novel. When she learns of Fanny's death, she seems genuinely upset and does not seem to be relieved that her rival is dead.

  1. From your reading of Far from the Madding Crowd, what do you find of ...

    with such imbecility'. This shows Hardy's views on women and how they are looked down on by the male figures. When Troy and Fanny are talking, Troy seems to not willing to talk to fanny and is trying to get away, this may be because he is ashamed to be

  2. Explore Hardy's presentation of Bathsheba Everdene in "Far From The Madding Crowd". Do you ...

    At the farmer's market, all the men stare longingly at her, with the exception of Farmer Boldwood. Feeling piqued by this, Bathsheba's vanity is affronted, and she is led to send Boldwood a valentine to divert his attention to her.

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