Far from the madding crowd

Authors Avatar

Far from the Madding Crowd

In the novel Far from the Madding Crowd written by Thomas Hardy, I will be observing in detail the main character, Gabriel Oak a young, sheep farmer. I am going to determine how he is described as a heroic and the most admirable character.
Gabriel Oak is portrayed to the reader as a heroic character in several different ways. In chapter one, there is no action or events. Alternatively, in the first paragraph, there is a description of Oak, which is mainly focused on his broad smile. His smile is compared using a simile, ‘like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.’ This immediately implies that he is a cheerful, good-natured character. Secondly, he is referred to with many different names. Farmer Oak illustrates his status, respect and authority. Hardy deliberately means to associate Gabriel Oak with the Angel Gabriel. God’s hero lit up the darkness and it is important for the reader to note that when Gabriel Oak saves a situation from having disastrous consequences, nearly every time he does so in darkness. Gabriel's name is very significant in relation to his character, but he is not just meant to be a holy saint, whose sole purpose is to pour oil on troubled waters. He is a real person with human feelings, and this becomes obvious as his relationship with Bathsheba grows. Lastly the surname Oak instantly suggests that he endures life disappointments and is a strong willed individual.

Gabriel Oak is an independent farmer who owns his own sheep through hard work “he had been able by sustained efforts of industry and chronic good spirits to lease the small sheep-farm of which Norcombe Hill was a portion, and stock it with two hundred sheep. He however loses his farm through bad fortune (he was thankful that he wasn’t married and shows he is considerate and thinks of others more than himself “thank God I am not married, what she would have done in poverty now coming upon me”) and has to become a shepherd and work for another farmer. He became stronger, he has a “dignified calm” and he has accepted his fate (“indifference to fate”) “a young fellow of somewhat superior appearance”. The farmer he ends up working for, as luck would have it, is the woman who rejected him earlier in the book when Gabriel asked Bathsheba to marry him. “I can’t match you I know in mapping out my mind, upon my tongue” this shows that he is very blunt “upon my heart and soul, I don’t know what a maid can say stupider than that” Oak is always clear-sighted in his love for Bathsheba, refusing to flatter her and frequently and with an alarming lack of tack, telling her home truths she does not always care to hear. He is very modest, honest and realistic “I’m only an everyday sort of man; my only chance was being first comer.” He puts her interests before his own by: saving her farm in chapter which shows he is strong and heroic with great leadership skills “ ‘tis that shepherd up there that have done the most good he sitting on the top rick o’rick whizzing his great long arms about like a windmill.”  Saving her ricks despite from the terrible fire and storm “two hundred pounds secured” and when Bathsheba's sheep get into a field of clover, the only person who can help her is Gabriel Oak. At first Bathsheba refuses to ask Gabriel for help as they have had a row but then she does. Gabriel replies “beggars mustn't be choosers”. Oak tries to protect Bathsheba from the truth about Troy by robbing off the words “and child” from Fanny’s coffin.  In chapter 55 he shows that he cared more for Bathsheba more than himself “more particularly that people knew I had a sort of feeling for you, and I fancied from the we were mentioned together that it might injure your good name” he also would also leave the country for Bathsheba’s sake “and it is because of that very helplessness that I feel obliged to go” He is talented in playing of flute and Bathsheba has admired him for his sheering skills “well done, and done quickly!” It is not only Bathsheba that he is generous, he is generous even to the people he doesn’t know like when he sees a poor girl in the churchyard and gives her money “since you are not very well off, perhaps you would accept this. It is only a shilling, but it is all I have to spare”. He was also the only person to talk to Boldwood before his execution “I’m afraid there’s no hope, I’ve been with more than two hours, and his mind seems quite a wreck.”  Throughout the story Bathsheba ask Oak’s opinion on her important decisions “well, what is your opinion of my conduct” she valued Oak’s opinion because he is very honest. However his honesty has caused him losing his job almost twice “so you’ll please to leave the farm at the end of the week.” He finally achieves his heart’s desire in his marriage to Bathsheba.

Join now!

The immature nineteen-year-old girl called Bathsheba Everdene has lots difficulties throughout the novel. She has some good and bad experiences. These are with three different characters. Bathsheba 'major fault’ is immaturity and Bathsheba also is unaware of her own actions as she leads men on without knowing “‘now find out my name’ said teasingly and withdrew.” In the beginning of the novel Bathsheba is vain, insensitive, egocentric and stubborn. Hardy portrays her as a very beautiful but penniless woman. In the early chapters of the book we discover positive and negative sides of Bathsheba’s character. Firstly when Bathsheba at ...

This is a preview of the whole essay