Fanny Robin

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With closer reference to chapters 7, 11 and 16 (appendix), explore Hardy’s presentation of Fanny Robin In chapter seven of the book ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy, we are introduced to the character Fanny Robin. She is introduced during the night in the bleak darkness of a churchyard which symbolises death and possibly foreshadows unfortunate future events for Fanny.

We are told that Fanny has ‘a bundle of some sort’ at her feet; from this, we can notice that Fanny is possibly running away from something. There is evidence that she is poor because she is described as ‘rather thinly clad’, and it is unusual for someone to be wearing very few clothes at such a cold time of year. Oak spares Fanny some money, and in the exchange of the shilling, Oak felt her pulse, it is described as ‘beating with a tragic intensity’ which means that he can notice that she is unhealthy, but the word ‘tragic’ stands out because it suggests a tragedy, where someone usually dies. This also makes us think of a stereotypical image of a heroin in Victorian times; because she is ill, she seems angelic, like she belongs in heaven.

Hardy also shows a contrast between Bathsheba and Fanny. Fanny was very grateful and thankful for Oaks generosity and says thank you whereas Bathsheba, in chapter one, doesn’t take much notice of Oaks kindness. Hardy also shows this contrast by use of Pathetic Fallacy; when Bathsheba is introduced, it is made clear to us that she wants to stand out, ‘the sun lighted up to a scarlet glow the crimson jacket she wore....’ which shows that she is very passionate and unconventional. However, to describe Fanny, Hardy uses expressions like ‘motionless stranger’, which dehumanises her and makes her seem really small and weak.

In Chapter eleven, it becomes clear that Fanny had been running away to go and visit her boyfriend, Frank who is a soldier. Soldiers often had a reputation for having many girlfriends so, in this chapter, Fanny comes across as...
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