Far from the madding crowd

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 English coursework

                                             Pre-1914 prose study

Far from the madding crowd

My initial thoughts on dealing with a substantial Victorian text such as ‘Far from the madding crowd’ were mixed. I was aware that even the basics such as sentence structure would be very different they ways of modern literature. This book was written about a different world, with different words to accompany it. One must expect that this book will demand a greater level of concentration and ongoing sustained effort. Although my first thoughts were varied, I looked forward to reading something of this calibre. The title suggests a ‘want for retreat’ possibly away from the industrialisation taking over Victorian England.

This book is the first ‘Wessex’ novel, a series of books about fictional places. I feel that these names were given to create a partly mythical, vision of rural England, bringing back ideas from before the time of urbanisation, possibly showing the authors longing for a return to the world he grew up in.

As a romantic novel, it contains even more of a complex relationship than a love triangle, a love square! Hardy takes to using pathetic fallacy to put across his ideas which he can relate to nature to avoid offence in Victorian England. Other rural writers may use it to express themselves using ideas connected with the world they know, which is nature.

Chapter XIV concentrates on the repercussions on Boldwood of the receipt of a valentine card from a yet unknown admirer. With the chapter titled ‘Sunrise’ this gives us an immediate intention of what the chapter could be about, with ‘sunrise’ suggesting an awakening of new ideas, For Boldwood possibly the idea of love, which is a long forgotten concept for this seemingly confirmed ‘bachelor’.

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The description of his parlour ‘Where everything which was not grave was extraneous’- told the reader that everything that wasn’t needed wasn’t there, suggesting a life of basic necessity. The atmosphere was described like that of a ‘puritan Sunday’ which lasted all week, hinting that he had no enjoyment in his life.

Pathetic fallacy becomes established in this section by Boldwood’s ‘beaming fire of aged logs.’ Suggesting there was a long established warm and cheerful atmosphere, indicating his lifestyle has become routine but he liked the entrenched way he lived.

Reading through the valentine, he imagines the yet ...

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