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Thomas Hardy wrote the characters of Bathsheba Everdene and Fanny Robin with specific attributes and details. Both women have similarities and differences that either directly influence each other or other characters.

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Introduction

Thomas Hardy wrote the characters of Bathsheba Everdene and Fanny Robin with specific attributes and details. Both women have similarities and differences that either directly influence each other or other characters. The Victorian class system in the 1870's (which is where Far from the Madding crowd is based) had four distinct classes. Two of those were the upper working class and the lower [working class]. Bathsheba would have probably become upper working or middle, when she inherited the farm. We can see that Bathsheba regards herself as being higher up in the social order, from the first time we see her in the book, by the way she treats Gabriel Oak. (QUOTE (Gabriel Oak giving her money for the gate).) This expresses her individuality and the way she respects those in a lower class to her, or those she wishes to impress her social stature on. The nobility in the 1870's didn't mix with those lower than them, although they did have responsibility for their workers. For instance, when Fanny Robin goes missing, Bathsheba is worried and concerned about her whereabouts. (QUOTE. Bathsheba asking everyone to keep an eye out for Fanny). Bathsheba has dark hair and bold clothes which represents her personality. As she highlights herself as bold and dark throughout the book (QUOTE). ...read more.

Middle

She was very much closed as a child. The simple fact that she didn't have a strong upbringing implies that she may not have a strong life, or character. The two women's views on marriage are possibly one of the strongest difference's between their characters. Bathsheba is quoted to have said "I hate to be thought men's property in that way" when Gabriel asks her to marry him. This reflects her individuality and a slight insecurity about being tied down with another man. Perhaps because she doesn't know what is round the next corner, and doesn't want to have to be with her husband forever. Fanny Robin was very keen to marry Troy and when she finally had her date set she wrote a letter to Gabriel Oak saying "I am happy to say I am going to be married..." This simple sentence shows the little girl inside Fanny. (That is shown many times during the book). This also shows another contrast between Bathsheba and Fanny. Bathsheba appears to be very much more mature than Fanny. For instance she doesn't like to cry (QUOTE. Bathsheba holding back tears). The rustic characters in Far from the Madding crowd act as narrators throughout the book. They are the comic relief for the audience, and contrast the other characters by having a "common" view on people like Bathsheba and her family. ...read more.

Conclusion

the general aspect of the swamp was malignant... rotting leaves... oozing gills". This kind of describes her "oozing" feelings and jealousy and disgust towards Fanny and herself. The editor of the Cornhill magazine in 1874 was opposed to having the issue of Fanny's illegitimate child put into Far from the Madding crowd. Thomas Hardy wrote his book in segments and each week a chapter of the book would be published. The readers of the Cornhill magazine would have generally been conservative middle class people. The Editor was anxious about the readers reaction to Fanny's pregnancy because illegitimacy was such a stigma in the 1870's. Illegitimate mothers were often sectioned and middle class people didn't like the idea of it. They found it disgraceful. The simple fact that Fanny was ill and dying would have been thought to have been enough. But I think Hardy wanted to show how desperate and low fanny had become. He also wanted to show that having an illegitimate child was not the "end of the world". In conclusion, Fanny and Bathsheba are both very individual, and are Hardy's way of explaining his thoughts about women in his era. Bathsheba was the upper class woman who is thought to be strong and bold, and turns out to be a simple insecure girl. Fanny was viewed as the lower class girl who is unfortunate enough to become ill, and have many horrible things happen to her, but develops into a strong willed character. ...read more.

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