Exploring the Character of Bathsheba Everdene - Far From the Madding Crowd

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Far From the Madding Crowd
Bathsheba Everdene
The author, Thomas Hardy, describes Bathsheba as a very vain lady `She
did not adjust her hat, or pat her hair, or press a dimple into shape or do one
thing to signify that any such intention had been her motive in taking up the
glass. She simply observed herself as a fair product of nature in the feminine
kind', who finds herself inheriting her uncle's farm and surprises everyone by
wanting to manage it herself. She behaves in a proud way because she wants
to be a leader instead of having a man in charge for a change. She is
intelligent and well-educated but, with the help of the inherited farm, she
manages to rise from her poor home in the world to a higher class citizen and
is respected by her new friends that she makes and her household and farm
The central character, Bathsheba, is loved my three different men: the
shepherd Gabriel Oak, Farmer Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. She marries the
last of these three first, but each represents a different form of love. Troy is
selfish and allows his girlfriend, Fanny Robin, to die in a workhouse after a
misunderstanding and concurrently becomes involved with Bathsheba who he
treats cruelly in turn over the course of their marriage. Troy disappears after
the death. The story tells of Bathsheba's life as Troy returns, is shot by
Boldwood who is pronounce insane and as Gabriel's simple and devoted love
is finally appreciated.
Bathsheba Everdene's Three Suitors
Gabriel Oak
Bathsheba's first suitor, Gabriel Oak, is an honest and reliable farmer
who loses his small lot of land when a new sheepdog drives his flock over a
cliff and into the sea on the rocks below. He seems to love Bathsheba
unselfishly from the start, although she does not return the devotion that he
has to her, and in the first opening scene he travels to her home to ask for
her hand in marriage. Unsurprisingly she rejects his offer, but he remains her
loyal friend and right-hand man through out her journey later on in the story.
They get through many difficulties together, including Bathsheba's short
marriage to Sergeant Francis Troy, but in the end he finally gets what he
wanted from the beginning: an easy marriage to Bathsheba.
William Boldwood

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Bathsheba's second suitor, William Boldwood, is a respectable
middle-aged farmer who ends up being the next admirer of Bathsheba. They
both meet about halfway into the story and Bathsheba later playfully sends
him a valentine embossed with the two single words "Marry Me". Despite his
reserved character and impressive personal dignity, Boldwood did not realise
the letter was a joke; he then becomes overly obsessed with her and soon
proposes marriage.…read more


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