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The strengths and weaknesses of Bathsheba.

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The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Bathsheba Throughout the course of 'Far From The Madding Crowd', Bathsheba undergoes multiple changes in her character, radically changing her behaviour and overturning her personality during her increasingly turbulent life. While Bathsheba has many good qualities and pleasant aspects to her character, she also possesses a number of weaknesses that dramatically affect her life. One of Bathsheba's most notable strengths is her courage. It is this bravery coupled with Bathsheba's quickthinking, that enables her to save Gabriel Oak' life. Having realised that Oak has left the ventilation holes in his hut closed along with his door, and knowing that the outcome would be Gabriel's suffocation, Bathsheba saves Oak. After she has dragged him outside and revived him, Oak asks Bathsheba her name. Flirtingly she challenges Oak to find out for himself. This in itself is Bathsheba's central weakness and brings about terrible consequences throughout her life: immaturity. In a way the book revolves around Bathsheba's immaturity and its price, and how Bathsheba overthrows her irresponsible nature when she finally grows up. ...read more.


While Bathsheba's pride and vanity in her beauty are certainly justified as she is endowed with good looks, her beauty seems to be a mixed blessing when it attracts disagreeable suitors. Other attributes that draw Bathsheba into precarious positions are her stubbornness and her determination to achieve independence. Upon catching her bailiff stealing, she instantly dismisses him, assuming total managerial control over her farm. This reveals yet another of her weaknesses-impulsiveness. Instantly firing her bailiff, Gabriel Oak (twice!), and agreeing to marry Troy on the spot, are all examples of Bathseba's impulsive character. Her refusal to seem weak or undignified is brave but she relies too little upon the one man whom she can trust - Gabriel Oak. Bathsheba's vanity is by far her greatest shortcoming, placing her in emotionally perilous situations. It was a direct result of her vanity, coupled with her impetuous nature, which convinced Bathsheba to send Boldwood an anonymous valentine's card. While at the farmer's market everyman (for all save her were men) stared longingly at her, with the exception of Farmer Boldwood. ...read more.


Arguing with Troy continuously and feeling a rift between them widening over Fanny, Troy's discarded yet ever faithful lover, Bathsheba never reconciles with Troy before he disappears and is killed. On account of her pride, Bathsheba finds herself in awkward positions and makes mistakes because of it. When proposing to her with his 'superfluous moiety of honesty' Gabriel foolishly admits that he always thought that marrying a rich woman would be smarter than marrying Bathsheba, who takes offence, her pride wounded, ending Gabriel's chance of marrying her at first. Bathsheba's also moves Bathsheba to sack Oak, feeling that he is criticizing her behaviour towards Boldwood. It is the more so offensive to her because she knows that Gabriel is speaking the truth. However regardless of her many faults, Bathsheba turns out very different near the end of the book, purging herself of her pride and vanity upon realising her love for Gabriel Oak which makes passion seem as 'evanescent as steam'. Bathsheba matures at the end leaving behind her image as a flighty young woman. Despite her shortcomings, Bathsheba's courage, kindliness and final realization of her true feelings make up for any weaknesses. ...read more.

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

    Liddy: 'What fun it would be to send it to the stupid old Boldwood, and how he would wonder.' The idea put into her head, Bathsheba tossed a hymnbook to decide who would receive the valentine; open for little Teddy Coggan, shut for Farmer Boldwood.

  2. Compare and contrast Oak and Troyas representations of 'The Victorian Man'.

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    An example of this simplicity and honesty comes across in his quarrel with Bathsheba. Oak ends up expressing his true feelings and emotions and does not hide anything. Oak replies in a blunt, straightforward manner. "I mean this, that if Mr Boldwood really spoke of marriage I bain't going to tell a story and say he didn't to please you.

  2. Consider carefully which of Bathsheba’s three suitors, Boldwood, Troy or Oak possessed the qualities ...

    Furthermore, having moved up a social class didn't seem to effect this self-reliance as she still travelled to Bath on her own not asking for a chauffeur to ride the cart for her, as most rich people would have because of their status.

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