Text: i?? Far from the Madding Crowdi?? by Thomas Hardy In her meeting with Troy we see Bathsheba at her most vulnerable. However, in addition to this there are other important roles we see her play. These are the woman farmer, irresponsible young woman, the idol, flirtatious lover and the victim. Bathsheba is very much out of place amongst a predominately male farming community. However, she copes very well. She is a hard-headed woman. This handicap (her sex) brings doubt and lack of faith amongst the farm workers; i?? Our misi?? ess will bring us all to the badi??. Bathsheba is of an i?? impulsive nature under a deliberative aspecti??.
In chapter three Bathsheba leans back on her saddle in a dangerous way. She is aware of this being ambitious. She is also aware that she is acting more like a man. This action is very unladylike and was certainly not expected of a woman. In chapter six, when Gabriel has just helped put out the fire he asks: i?? Where is your master the farmer? i?? i?? Tisni?? t a master; i?? tis a Mistress, Shepherd. i?? i?? A woman farmer? i?? Here Gabriel immediately assumes that it is a male farmer (as would have been expected in the mid 19th Century) and when he finds out that it is a female farmer he is astonished.
The very fact that there is a question mark after i?? A woman farmeri?? shows that he is not simply repeating what he has been told but he is repeating it in disbelief. Bathsheba is decisive, brisk and businesslike whilst dealing with the paying of the farm workers in chapter 10. She is very confident; i?? I have formed a resolution to have no bailiff at alli??. The farm workers are astonished at this; i?? The men expired an audible breath of amazementi??. i?? I shall be up before you are awake, I shall be afield before you are up, and I shall have breakfasted before you are afield.
In short I shall astonish you alli??. This phrasing and rhythm is very strong and very convincing. This speech again shows her confidence and her ability to cope. Bathsheba is the only female in the corn exchange (i?? the single one of her sex that the room containedi?? ) but does not seem to mind. i?? i?? Tis a handsome maid, however, and shei?? ll soon get picked upi??. Here the people in the corn market are discussing Bathsheba and assume that she will get married and hand over the farm for her husband to get picked up.
This chapter alone shows that Bathsheba has a hard task ahead of her because of the meni??s views of a woman farmer. The farm workers are convinced that she will i?? bring them all to the badi??. She goes against traditional ways; i?? Why only yesterday she cut a rasher of bacon the longways of the flitch! i?? (chapter fifteen). For the farm workers, any change is wrong. Bathsheba has a traditional mani?? s job. She is a woman farmer but she is not afraid to join in with the manual labour (helping with the shearing etci?? ). In this rural community responsibilities fall into two categories: the practical responsibilities and the moral responsibilities.
Oak acts as a tutor on many occasions to Bathsheba and she slowly becomes aware of her need for his aid both practically and morally. In chapter four when Gabriel is asking Bathsheba to marry him she acts irresponsibly, firstly by running after him and secondly by leading him on and then turning him down. Bathsheba runs after Gabriel not to accept him but also not to lose him. The way Bathsheba leads Gabriel on and treats it as a game when he is proposing to her and answering his offerings by saying i?? Yes: I should like thati?? and i?? Dearly I should like thati?? shows how she is vain and unintentionally cold hearted.
She would like the bridei?? s opportunity of showing off, but not her responsibilities. We learn why Gabriel will not succeed with her now. He is too humble (she needs impressing) and too honest (some deception is required). When Bathsheba, as a game uses the Bible and key for the old superstitious practice of foretelling her husband. The way Bathsheba leaves it to fate is very irresponsible. She fails to consider the consequences of her actions. Whilst Bathsheba is sending the valentine Hardy goes to great extent to stress the idle off-hand way in which the card is sent; i??
Bathsheba, a small yawn upon her mouth, took the pen, and with off-hand serenity directed the missive to Boldwoodi??. The flippant manner in which she chooses the seal is again irresponsible. The way she chooses the seal solely to upset Boldwood; i?? Twould upset the solemnity of a parson and clerk tooi?? is thoughtless and she cannot comprehend that this simple valentine would spark off a long chain of events ending in death and misery. Earlier in the novel she is emotionally immature, rash, impetuous, does things on the spur of the moment etci??
However, in chapter 19 we see the beginnings of Bathshebai?? s maturity. She seems sincerely sorry for the pain and anguish she has caused Boldwood and we see a greater self-awareness; i?? O I am wicked to have made you suffer so! i?? and i?? Doni?? t say it: doni?? t! i??. In chapter 22 Hardy is still keeping Bathshebai?? s vanity before us. Here, although she is distressed by Boldwoodi?? s torment and grief and is prepared to pay a penalty for having caused it, she is nevertheless flattered by his idolising of her and pleased with her triumph; i??
The situation was not without fearful joyi??. She feels proud at her noble behaviour of giving an unconditional promise of marriage. We again see her acting maturely (acknowledging the damage she has done and accepting the penalty of marriage for it). However, her meeting with Troy shows that she has quickly forgotten her speech to Boldwood and once again we see her reverting to her old immature self. Bathsheba also plays the role of the idol. Both Boldwood and Oak idolise Bathsheba (Boldwood more than Oak). In chapter 16, Bathsheba, unknowingly, is performing a role for Boldwood.
Boldwood thinks that putting Bathsheba on a pedestal and admiring her from afar is a good way of getting to know her. Unfortunately Boldwood has not the slightest idea of how to act around Bathsheba. In fact he does not even know if she is pretty or not; i?? Is Miss Everdene considered handsome? i?? Boldwood quickly goes from being indifferent about Bathsheba to being jealous of her. In chapter 19, when Gabriel is talking to Bathsheba, he is i?? criticising her conducti?? and almost preaching at her. She is demurring herself. She does not want her to behave the way that she is.
He wants her to stay the way that he has idolised her as. In chapter 22 when Bathsheba has nobly done her best to make amends with Boldwood, Hardy says i?? the pleasure she derived from the proof that she was idolisedi??. This extract shows two things. One is that it shows that Boldwood is idolising her and the other is that Bathsheba enjoys being idolised (vanity). Bathsheba plays the role of the flirtatious lover. This is shown when Gabriel is proposing to her and she goes along with his proposal and treats it as a game but all along she had no intention of saying yes.
Bathsheba is solely interested in Boldwood because he is not interested in her. She is slightly peeved that the most highly respected man in the parish is also the only man who does not look at her. Bathsheba gets slightly i?? piquedi?? at this (which encourages her to send the valentine). The way she tosses the hymn book and leaves it to fate if she would send the valentine to Boldwood or not suggests that she wants to send it to Boldwood to get him to notice her by effectively asking him to marry her (i?? marry mei?? ); she is acting flirtatiously.
When Bathsheba first meets Troy in the dark she and him both flirt together furiously; i?? Thank you for the sight of such a beautiful facei??. Bathsheba tries to cover the fact that she is flattered and rather enjoying it by doing her best to be as disagreeable as possible. After all, as she says to Liddy, he was a i?? man who was only civil and kindi??. This flirtatious manner continues with Troy again: during the hay making when Troyi?? s shallow gesture of giving her his i?? fathers gold watchi?? , the hiving of the bees etci?? When Bathsheba meets Troy for his sword exercise, she dominates no longer.
Before, Troy has always played the servant (making her hay, hiving her bees etci?? ). Troy has now become the tutor. Bathsheba is astonished, amazed. During the sword exercise Hardy uses the words: i?? plumpi?? , i?? succulenti?? , i?? luxurianti??. These words are used to describe the place but here they can all be related to a woman. There is a sexual and flirtatious undertone. Bathsheba feels guilty because she is sexually aroused. The tone of the conversation between Bathsheba and Gabriel when they are covering the ricks is not the tone of a conversation between a farmer and her farm worker; i??
Thank you for your devotion a thousand times Gabriel! i??. Bathsheba claims that she does not love Gabriel but perhaps she feels something for him? At any rate she is relying on him more and more and he is beginning to play a larger part in her life. Even the name Oak is a clue to his character; English Oak is renowned for its strength and durability. It is reliable as is Gabriel. His Christian name also shows that he is an angel (the angel Gabriel). Bathsheba also plays the role of the victim.
She is the victim of Gabrieli??s criticism; i?? I can not allow any man to – to criticise my private conducti??. She gets very uptight when she hears the truth about herself; i?? you are greatly to blame for playing pranks upon a man like Mr Boldwood, merely as a pastimei??. She feels very indignant that a man, she considers, inferior to her dares to criticise her. When Troy finds Fanny dead he immediately rejects Bathsheba. She becomes i?? the victimi??. What has she done to deserve this rejection? She is jealous because Fanny is her rival in love even once she is dead.