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

To what extent is “Far From the Madding Crowd” about obsession?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent is "Far From the Madding Crowd" about obsession? Far From the madding crowd was written by Thomas Hardy and was first published in serial form in the Cornhill magazine in 1873. The structure of the story is therefore affected as each episode builds towards a dramatic moment or climax and crucial questions are raised. It was later published as a novel in 1874. Hardy's title is taken from the poem "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Grey. It suggests that the countryside is a calm place brimming with tranquillity, far away from the mayhem of city life. Ironically, it couldn't paint a less precise picture, as life in the countryside turns out to be just as lively and hectic as in the city. Many of the characters experience several obsessions throughout the novel. These obsessions affect them on several levels and their combination leads to an interesting plot. The main character in the novel is Bathsheba Everdene. In addition to having obsessions of her own, she is also the subject of obsessions from various other characters. These include Oak, Boldwood and Troy. ...read more.


However, Oak's perseverance and patience prevails as Bathsheba eventually responds truthfully to his feelings towards her and the couple marry happily at the end of the novel. This is one of the few obsessions in the book that has a positive outcome and perhaps this is purposeful as Hardy wanted to emphasise how dangerous obsession can be. Farmer Boldwood's stillness is the most striking part of his character. He is a serious man who leads a dignified life and is therefore deeply affected when his mistress Bathsheba sends him an unexpected Valentine. Although he appears reserved, Bathsheba's maid Liddy warns her mistress that the insincere Valentine will "worry him to death". Perhaps this is because it is common knowledge that a distant relative of Boldwood's went mad and subsequently Boldwood cannot take things lightly. Boldwood has no real passionate feelings for Bathsheba before she sends him the Valentine, but when he receives the declaration of Bathsheba's love, it sparks off the beginning of an intense obsession. Boldwood struggles to cope with the extreme emotions that sweep over him; his sheltered childhood in a society where different sexes were kept apart, means he is completely unprepared to deal with his obsession logically. ...read more.


She arranged to meet him once more in a place of his choice, far away and difficult for Fanny to reach. She attempted the lengthy journey on foot but eventually her "steps became feebler" and it was clearly impossible for her to reach her goal. Her resolution to be with Troy was indubitably strong but the exhaustion and fatigue she felt was ultimately stronger. Willing and ready to be with Troy even if it killed her, a few of Fanny's last words were, "If I could only get there! Perhaps I shall be in my grave before then". Tragically, the next time Troy set eyes on Fanny she was, indeed, in her coffin. Therefore it is fair to say that obsession killed Fanny Robin. An obsession can take over a person's every waking thought; it can drive them and people around them to despair and can even cause them to kill another or themselves by simply trying to fulfil that obsession. These things happened in varying degrees of seriousness to every character in "Far From the Madding Crowd" which therefore suggests obsession is a key feature of the Novel. The variety of obsessions in the novel highlights the many different forms in which people can be obsessed. 1 Jo Cunliffe 10B ...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. Themes Presented In Far From The Madding Crowd

    for the attention and the opportunity and did not ant the responsibility. This is apparent when she says "a marriage would be very nice in one sense, people would talk about me, and think I had won my battle and I should feel triumphant and all but a husband...".

  2. The Development of Bathsheba Everdene Throughout the Course of the Novel Far From The ...

    Troy is distraught over Fanny Robins death. Bathsheba finds out about Troy's child with Fanny and this makes her jealous of Fanny and angry at Troy. Troy is full of remorse when he sees the child and Fanny. He then takes it out on Bathsheba showing his insensitive side.

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

    A heavy unbroken crust of cloud stretched across the sky, shutting out every speck of heaven." Fanny again finds herself in darkness, a recurring theme in the novel although the fact that it is "moonless and starless" and the cloud is "shutting out every speck of heaven" sets a more

  2. In The Withered Arm how does Thomas Hardy present the characters of Rhoda and ...

    as a conniving husband-stealer that the reader hates on behalf of Rhoda - but Hardy keeps the blame with Lodge. Gertrude is shown as innocent and inexperienced - e.g. she is uncomfortable when the boy stares at her rather than enjoying it.

  1. Far from the madding crowd

    I think that although the whole time Gabriel has been fighting and waiting for the time that he can share intimate moments with her, now it is actually here and his chance lies in front of him, he doesn't know how to act and suddenly turns shy and becomes slightly reserved.

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

    This chapter is about when Bathsheba is with Troy at Loggerheads. Troy asks Bathsheba for money to gamble with, she asks him not too but he still does. This shows that Troy will do as he pleases; this would have been normal for nineteenth century men to rule over their wives.

  1. Far from the maddening crowd

    Bathsheba has a lot of confidence in herself. "In short I shall astonish you all". This is said shortly after her decision to have no bailiff when she is convincing the staff that she can manage. The speech shows her self-confidence shining and her belief in her own ability.

  2. Examine the Part played by Obsession in Far from the Madding Crowd

    It is this negative characteristic of Bathsheba which will cause her such misfortune later in the novel. Bathsheba?s obsession with herself drives her to ?direct [a] missive to Boldwood?. This is because she feels piqued after Liddy tells he ?didn?t turn his head? in church that day, despite ?his pew [being] exactly opposite [Bathsheba?s]?.

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