Compare and contrast the ways in which Thomas Hardy presents Troys seduction of Bathsheba in Far From The Madding Crowd.

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Compare and contrast the ways in which Thomas Hardy presents Troy’s seduction of Bathsheba in “Far From The Madding Crowd.”

Hardy presents Troy’s seduction through his use of form, structure and language in order to present the bewitching nature of her courtship with Troy. I have taken a particular scene from the novel, in order to illustrate the point presented above. This scene takes place soon after Troy, a soldier, has met with Bathsheba Everdene, a stern young woman who has inherited her uncle’s farm, is to observe Troy’s sword practices. She is certain that she will not attend but not long before their meeting, Bathsheba relents and goes to see him. She is enthralled and frightened by his practises, as he comes very close to harming her with his sword. In the closing parts of the scene Troy kisses Bathsheba, and leaves her feeling quite ashamed.

Hardy’s narration in this particular scene is very much focused on Bathsheba. The reader is only able to observe the movements of Troy and his speech. As a result, the reader is able to grasp Bathsheba’s enchantment whiles watching Troy. The sword practice does, in fact, enchant Bathsheba. She believes that the sword has “passed through her body,” by some sort of “magic.” She describes the swords gleaming reflection of sunlight, as if the sword itself is “greeting” her. She is enthralled by all the different types of light that it produces. The sword takes on a wand like appeal, as if Troy is casting a spell on Bathsheba and drawing her closer towards his designs upon her. His sword show evokes fear and wonderment from her, and these feelings soon lead her to fall for Troy. A sense of enchantment is also created in the courtship between Edward Sydney and Julia Wellsey, in Bronte’s “The Foundling.” On approaching Julia’s home, Sydney hears her singing in an “angelic” and “harmonious” fashion. In her song she professes her love for Sydney, and he is driven to her feet in a bout of passion after he discovers the Julia is the singer. Both Lady Julia and Troy put on a show for their objects of love. Troy’s sword show and Julia’s singing both create a sensory appeal towards their lover. However Julia’s angelic song is far more peaceful but still as attractive to Sydney, as Troy’s dangerous but beautiful sword show is to Bathsheba.    

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On leaving Troy, Bathsheba’s feelings are engaged even more so than before. As Troy leaves, he kisses her on the mouth and this leaves Bathsheba feeling shameful. After he has kissed her, Hardy describes how “blood” is “brought beating into her face,” and it sets her “stinging as if aflame.” His description portrays Bathsheba’s passion. The active movement of the blood; the dynamic nature of his description, injects energy and passion into Bathsheba’s manner. She is described as being aflame; a common allegory for passion. Likewise in Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence,” Wharton describes a “burning flush” of ...

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