“The storm – The Two Together” shows us how much Bathsheba needs Oak although she does not feel any love for him. The chapter opens with Troy and Bathsheba’s wedding and harvest celebrations. It is an elated and happy occasion unlike the sadness and ruin that the storm that night is going to bring. Oak knows there is going to be a terrible storm, which will ruin the 750 pounds worth of wheat ricks and barley ricks. He warns Troy of the terrible storm and says he needs help to cover the produce. At this point we can see that Gabriel is the only one interested in Bathsheba’s living and that Troy wants to have a good time. Gabriel is acting like Bathsheba’s angel and man who saves her in times of trouble unlike Troy who over powers her thoughts on the consistent drinking. As readers we can see that Troy has not got Bathshebas best interests at heart.
There is a sharp contrast between Gabriel and Troy. Gabriel knows farm life well and is very in tune with nature this is why he senses the storm). He works hard and is very loyal to Bathsheba unlike Troy who dismisses all work and attention to the natural world, is ignorant and selfish. The storm symbolises Troy’s power over the laborious, Bathsheba and the people around him such as Fanny Robin. Bathsheba sees only the romantic side of Troy and is too blinded by this to see that having a husband used to farm work and some one that is loyal such as Gabriel is more valuable to her.
The most important point of this chapter is that it brings both Gabriel and Bathsheba together and Hardy shows us how both of these characters has changed and circumstances since the time in which Gabriel proposed to her and saved the rick from the fire. There statuses have both changed and Bathsheba has become to rely on Oak more than ever. She also can confide in him, we see this when she is talking to him alone again; this is not the only conversation that she has alone with him and not the last. A man and women seen talking alone especially at night would have been seen as suspicious.
Hardy uses a lot of detailed imagery to help the reader to picture the beautiful but yet “dangerous nature” of the storm. He uses words that will grab the reader and uses personification such as “a perfect dance of death” which incorporates the beautiful but terrifying storm. He also many verbs in one sentence adding suspense, “Dancing, leaping, striding, racing around, and mingling altogether in unparalleled confusion” is a good example of this, you get a real feel of the storm. He also uses light and colour to describe the bolts of lightning such as, “snakes of green” and “Blue fire”.
Gabriel feels so much for Bathsheba this moment that he is “almost blinded” by the storm and by the love he feels for her as she grips onto his arm for support. He finds it almost impossible to contain the love that he feels for her.
As the storm clears Bathsheba asks Oak if her husband is among the drunks in the barn. At this point we see Gabriel try to protect her from hurt and disappointment in her husband. This shows us how important Bathsheba is to Gabriel, as he knows that Troy is defiantly in the barn with the other labourers in a drunken sleep. Bathsheba now relies on Oak and the conversation that goes on during this chapter is not one that farmers and farm workers would usually have. This shows us that Bathsheba does have some feelings for Oak although she says she doesn’t love him.