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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Symbolism in Hardy's 'Far from the madding crowd" Hardy uses striking symbolism in the novel Far from the madding crowd to serve his purposes and attain the desired effects on the reader. The memorable descriptions of the great barn, the sword play and the storm-are all enriched with eloquent symbolism. It makes the events vivid before us and broadens the scope of the novel. In the opening chapters, Gabriel spies on Bathsheba ridiculously from behind a hedge, commenting on her vanity. He beholds Bathsheba though a hole, tending her aunt's cows, in a bird's eye view. From the loopholes of his hut, he watches her engaging in tomboyish antics on her horse. All these symbolize Gabriel's limited view point and his candid nature. In chapter 2 ,, Hardy presents a magnificent description of Norcombe hill. The stately progress of the earth is contrasted to oak's special power of quiet energy. The innocent and helpless stirrings of the new-born lamb and the movements of the stars and the earth are contrasted to symbolize the frailty of human existence. ...read more.

Middle

There is also sexual symbolism in this same chapter. The appalled ewe is subdued by Oak and Bathsheba regards the ewe's sheared pink skin resembles a lady who blushes at the insult .the ewe emerging from the its fleece is compared to the Goddess of love which symbolizes the sexual intensity of Oak's violent passion. Gabriel, piqued by Bathsheba's growing intimacy with Boldwood, injures a sheep in the groin-the entire scene symbolizes Oak's harmful sexual impulses toward Bathsheba. Troy's spur entangles with Bathsheba's dress-it symbolizes the trap of flattery which would be prepared by Troy for her. The spur is the symbol of sex and the dress of Bathsheba is a symbol of femininity -the male aggressive masculinity has trapped femininity. However, the scene of the sword play contains the greatest symbolism in the novel. The hollow in which the sword play is performed evokes the sexual potential of the relationship between Troy and Bathsheba. The setting is described with rich feminine imagery that sets up the erotic tone of the entire tone of the entire scene while Bathsheba herself is passionately excited .Time and place are made clear at ...read more.

Conclusion

And when the storm comes, it is described with extended imagery ,the mailed army of lightning springs like a serpent , with the shout of a fiend . Hardy uses such imagery to convey the forces of nature hostile to human beings .The scene of chapter 44 is significant as it indicates Bathsheba's return to the same hollow where sword-play was performed by Troy. The aforesaid hollow is now turned into a malignant swamp. The swamp is the symbol of utter despair into which Bathsheba has fallen . The symbolism goes far deeper as Bathsheba had seen the place before when she was captivated by Troy at the sword play. At that time , the ferns were soft , feathery arms caressing her feet but now they are withering fast and the hollow is a nursery of pestilences .The two different states of the hollow reflects the two opposing states of mind and suggests the outcome of marriage with Troy .Now she has understood the implications of her marriage and she herself and Nature are fused as the leaves rush away in the breeze. This symbolizes Nature as a stark force and implies that the parallel between Nature and human mood should not be pursued by man. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is lacking direct references to the text and those that are included are not shown in quotation marks, which is essential. There is a clear understanding of the presence of symbolism, but not always a clear explanation of what it shows about the plot or characters.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 05/09/2013

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. Trace the development of Bathsheba Everdene

    Oak thinks a lot of Bathsheba. Soon after Bathsheba learns to suffer, she becomes jealous very easily. When Troy goes off to bath, Bathsheba follows. She follows him in order to try and break up her relationship, but Troy manages to trick her by telling her that he has seen someone that is more attractive and beautiful than her.

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

    by the end of the novel she allows him to have hope that she will marry him. Fanny, on the other hand, is a very passive character; all of her actions are negative. She has to leave Bathsheba's farm because she is in disgrace, she has to beg Troy at

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

    Bathsheba's entrance is completely different to Fanny's. Fanny's entrance is quite dramatic as nobody knows who she is and she is out at night with only thin clothes on. This could make the reader think that she has done something bad (sinning)

  2. Explore Thomas Hardy's use of letters in 'Far From The Madding Crowd'. Do you ...

    He is sure that it must be real because of its fine craftsmanship. The letter takes control of his life instantly. He just keeps reading it over and over, and even when he could not read the words, he continued to replay the contents of the letter in his head.

  1. Using chapters 7, 11 & 40, Discuss how Hardy Presents Fanny Robin as the ...

    shows strength and independence it emphasizes that Fanny Robin shows the opposite as they remain to be the only two main female characters in the novel. We can also tell from the infrequent meetings with Fanny how the male characters change when in contact with both her and Bathsheba; it

  2. Explore the Relationship between Bathsheba and Troy. What do we learn of Bathsheba's ...

    A few days after, Bathsheba receives news that her husband is missing, presumed drowned. "No, it is not true; it cannot be true!' Then she said no more. The ice of self-command which had latterly gathered over her was broken, and the currents burst forth again, and overwhelmed her.

  1. Character Sketch of Bathsheba

    She claims her love and right as his wife and when he rebukes her it leads to an awful scene between them and then their separation.

  2. How does Thomas Hardy Present Gabriel Oak as a Hero?

    Bathsheba sends for Farmer Oak; he is the one who knows how to cure them, as Oak has just been sacked from the farm, he is reluctant to come back and help. Although, Gabriel swallows his pride and goes to the farm and began to cure the sheep very calmly

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