Far from the Madding Crowd

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  • Topic: Far from the Madding Crowd, Marriage, Love
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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English Literature Coursework Assignment - Far From The Madding Crowd (Prose written before 1900)

‘Compare and contrast Bathsheba Everdene's three suitors'

In the novel ‘Far from the Madding Crowd' the main female role, Bathsheba Everdene, is pursued by three suitors, each of whom is very different from the others. These three men are Farmer William Boldwood, owner of the farm adjacent to Bathsheba's, Gabriel Oak, bankrupt farmer who becomes Bathsheba's shepherd, and later, bailiff, and Sergeant Francis Troy, a soldier whose regiment was close by to Weatherbury. Each of the three suitors pursues Bathsheba in a very different style, each of which I will look at in this coursework, but, unfortunately for naïve Bathsheba she fails to choose the best for her, Gabriel Oak, when he becomes her first suitor. Only at the end of the novel does she make the obvious and correct choice. The first character I will look at is Sergeant Francis Troy who came upon Bathsheba one night as she walked along the fir plantation, checking that all was well in the fields and paddocks, although Gabriel Oak had check before her. When Troy had become entangled with her, one of his first questions was ‘Are you a woman?', to which Bathsheba replied, ‘Yes.' His immediate reaction was to compliment her by calling her a lady, illustrating his natural tendency to see most young ladies he comes across as merely objects for personal conquest. Flattery is of course his chief weapon in charming and conquering the female heart. One of the main reasons that Bathsheba fell for him in the first place is her own vulnerability to flattery, as she is such a vain young lady. From this point on, on the occasions that he meets her, he continues to remark on how beautiful see looks, concentrating on praising her appearance. His first attempt at courtship was filled with nothing more than these praises as he quickly wormed his way into Bathsheba's heart. His impressive skills at swordmanship astonished Bathsheba, as shown in the hollow among the ferns when she realised how sharp his sword really was as he manoeuvred it around her, and she suddenly found herself falling deeper and deeper in love with him. There are a number of things which had attracted her to Troy, the most principal being the constant flattery and praise of her beauty. His sword skills in particular excited her and were a wonder, something totally different from the mundane ways of country life which surrounded her at present. His handsome appearance drew her closer and she found herself captivated by him. She was attracted by his superficial glamour especially the fact that he was a dashing Cavalryman, with his red jacket and shiny buttons. From the start she was deceived by his appearance, knowing this inside herself by never admitting it. She had to ask other people about their relationship, for example Gabriel even though she rejected his advice to reject Troy and marry Boldwood, because she was so doubtful herself as to what was happening. His forwardness also intrigued her, always asking for another chance to meet her and the kiss he gave to her in the hollow in the ferns after demonstrating his swordmanship. Their secret and hasty marriage shocked many of the townsfolk who had not known such an affair had been occurring and genuinely believed that she should have married Boldwood instead. She dismissed all talk that the marriage was to be doomed, and even stopped Gabriel from uttering a word about it, ‘…now I don't wish for a single remark from you upon the subject - indeed, I forbid it', and this shows how she did not wish her happy mood to be ruined. This also shows her reluctance to face the reality of her situation and her refusal to face the truth that she had made the wrong choice. Even before her marriage, when she had first met Troy, she asked Liddy if she knew him and almost immediately Liddy warned her of him. She said that he was ‘a wild scamp' and Bathsheba...
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