” He admits to Bathsheba at the beginning of the novel that, “But I can’t match you, I know, in mapping out my mind upon my tongue. ” He is not a man of words, unlike Troy and Boldwood, but proves that “actions can speak louder than words”. He is unable to speak the flattery that Troy can, or be as persistent and persuasive as Boldwood is, but in his devoted actions to Bathsheba, by being the hard and diligent worker that he is, he is rewarded in the end, by giving the opportunity to offer Bathsheba the love that he had talked of to her when he had first met her.
In contrast to Gabriel, Francis Troy is a man who appears to understand only what he can get out of love. He does not believe in treating women fairly, and which is expressed as he says, “treat them fairly and you are a lost man,” when referring to women. Hardy also writes about his consistency when telling the truth; “He was moderately truthful towards men, but to women he lied like a cretan. ” By lying to women he found it easy to get what he wanted, as Hardy describes him; “he spoke fluently and unceasingly. ” At the beginning, Hardy remarks that a woman’s greatest fault is her “Vanity.
” Troy, as he possesses such ease with the words he uses, has learnt that a woman’s weakness is her vanity, and knows that by flattering them he can get what he wants. This is precisely what he did with Bathsheba, and like her, he felt some sense of triumph when he saw that he had succeeded in weakening the women he flattered, as she did with the men she flirted with. However, instead of making the women he met feel confident, his flattery merely destroyed them, as they became dependent upon him to feed their vain needs. Troy did not have the emotional sense of love, but instead he felt the physical attraction to the women he met.
This meant that he only got involved with beautiful women, as it was their beauty that attracted them to him. Even after having left Bathsheba for so long, when he saw her again at Greenhill Sheep Fair, it was her beauty that “found unexpected chords of feeling, to be stirred again within him… ” The way in which Troy judged by appearances was perhaps inevitably the cause of his failed marriage to Bathsheba, because he had not got to know Bathsheba as a person, but simply looked at her, as a symbol of beauty. In some ways it could be said that he looked at the women as trophies that he had won.
Troy was also a man driven by wealth. Bathsheba, who had come into wealth after the inheritance of the lease of Weatherbury Farm, would have been even more attractive to him as she now had money. We know that he was driven by money, as he used to bet on the horses, which put considerable financial strain on Bathsheba. This was probably the reason why he did not marry Fanny, due to her financial instability. Money was also the reason why he did not return to Bathsheba initially after landing at Liverpool, as Hardy writes, “what a life such a future of poverty would be.
” This, unlike the love felt by Gabriel, was a selfish form of love, because he only ever though of himself. He had a very superficial view of love, which required wealth in order to make him happy. Troy’s opinions of love did not include the idea of commitment, and another reason for the failure of his marriage could be due to his womanising and flirtatious behaviour. We learn near to the end of the novel that his opinion of marriage is negative and he sees it not as the beginning of two people’s lives together, but as he says himself, “all romances end at marriage.
” He also did not believe in the idea of equality, and shared responsibilities in a relationship, as he abandons Fanny with the great burden of an unborn child to deal with alone. This is probably due to his carefree opinion of sex, which he also valued as much as he did love. Troy did not value love as anything special, and this could be put down to the fact that he had a very unstable background, and an uncertain upbringing. His profession would also have something to do with his opinion of women, and as a soldier, he probably never had to deal with women and did not understand them.
This is why he tried to possess them, and this destroyed them. Hardy has some very clear opinions that he wishes to get across to the reader in this novel. He uses the characters as tools, to create a picture for the readers, expressing his personal views on love. He rewards those characters that see love as a simple but precious thing, and he shows how much he admires Gabriel Oak for his powers of endurance, by rewarding him with Bathsheba in the end. In contrast, he punishes those characters that take love too lightly.
An example of this is the attitude of Troy which end is death in the end. Hardy warns us of the great power of love and how dangerous it can be. The obsession that Boldwood felt for Bathsheba, is another feeling that he condemns, and shows how life can be ruined because of obsession. This is shown by the lifelong imprisonment of Boldwood. Hardy’s opinions of love are really exposed at the end of the novel, when he describes his own thoughts about how truelove can develop.
He uses Bathsheba and Gabriel as an example of how true love can develop. They were “tried friends” who enjoyed “good-fellowship and comraderie. ” The main message Hardy is trying to get across to us is that love cannot hide behind a fake face. He writes that in order for a successful relationship to take place, you must know the “rougher sides” of each other’s character. This is the love Hardy describes to be “the only love which is as strong as death- that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown. “