'Far From The Madding Crowd' by Thomas Hardy - Trace the development of the relationship between Bathsheba and Bolwood.

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English Assignment

‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy

Trace the development of the relationship between Bathsheba and Bolwood.  (From the sending of the valentine to Boldwood’s second proposal.)

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The initial association between the two characters Bathsheba and Bolwood is very different when compared to the relationship that exists when Boldwood proposes to Bathsheba for a second time.  At fist Boldwood does not respond to her beauty as all other men do, Bathsheba is annoyed at his indifference.   Her vanity causes her to make the disastrous mistake of sending him a valentine.

“Let’s toss as men do.”

“Toss this hymn book -”

“Open Teddy – shut Boldwood.”

“The book went fluttering in the air and came down shut.”

The quote above clearly shows that it was fate, not a definite decision, which decided that Bathsheba should send the valentine to Boldwood.  Hardy describes Boldwood as Bathsheba’s “Daniel in her kingdom.”  What Hardy means is one who persists, like Daniel, in defiance.  Here, Boldwood is the one who has defied, or ignored, Bathsheba’s beauty.  She sends the valentine to Boldwood firstly as a whim and secondly because he does not seem attracted to her.  She does this without thinking of the consequences it may bring.

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“ – and upon the eagle’s wings was the letter Bathsheba had sent.”  Boldwood’s reaction when he receives the valentine is a very serious one.  He is not the type of individual who would consider such things to be a joke; he is not a very humoured man. He believes that the nature of this valentine is deliberate, and this is where his obsession with the valentine begins. “Here the Bachelor’s gaze was continually fastening itself.”  Boldwood reacts this way towards the letter because he has had little experience of relationships with women.  “It was the first time in Boldwood’s life ...

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