Victorian women Essay
How does Thomas Hardy portray Bathsheba Everdene And Fanny Robin as typical representatives of Victorian women? Hardy uses this novel to express his prolific writing style, which involves introducing his characters slowly as the play goes on. He explores the characters and their influences and participation in the plot with intense detail. Far from the madding crowd is written in a Victorian pastoral setting, hence the way he portrays the characters as typically Victorian with powerful detail especially the women in particularly Bathsheba Everdene and Fanny Robin.
Hardy can be seen in this novel to be recreating a local, ageless atmosphere often of a period before his birth or his early years and this sensitive, detailed, vivid breathing of life into a rural setting seems to be an essential factor in his thoughts and feelings when writing. Bathsheba Everdene is a beautiful woman who seems to control and dominate large parts of the play but at times being particularly arrogant and impetuous towards other characters and as the central role in the play, Hardy has manipulated her around the other characters very well.
Bathsheba’s interaction with the other characters seems to have an effect on Fanny Robin’s participation in the play because of Hardy’s attempt to portray them both as typical representatives of Victorian women. She quickly becomes the central character by inheriting and learning to run a farm in Weatherbury where the play is situated. Hardy early on begins to introduce Bathsheba’s awareness and possibly fear of marriage and what that could do to affect Bathsheba’s status and profile within the village.
Gabriel Oaks conversation with Bathsheba shows her to be perhaps an unpredictable, spirted young woman who has never been in love. The two discuss marriage with remarkable frankness. Bathsheba’s egocentric personality is exposed when she admits that she would delight in the prospect of having all the trappings of marriage such as a piano, pets and her own carriage and a spectacular ceremony however, she objects to having a long life husband and losing her freedom.
Gabriel’s proposal to her of marriage is an emotionally intense conversation, which is why Hardy’s attempt to portray Bathsheba as typically Victorian was directed away exposing a different side to Bathsheba’s character. Gabriel: “I can make you happy. You shall have a piano in a year or two, farmers wives are getting to have pianos now, I’ll practice my flute right well to play with you in the evenings. Bathsheba: “Yes, I should like that” Gabriel’s hopes are built up as Bathsheba unveils her excitement at the prospect of marriage however; the realisation that this will never happen sets in.
“No, t’is no use, I don’t want to marry you. For a marriage would be very nice in one sense. People would talk about me and think I had won my battle and I should feel triumphant and all that. Her ‘battle’ is one that she feels she needs to win to maintain her high profile status and leading female role within the village. She feels that to win her ‘battle’ against society she needs to get married and therefore she can be ‘triumphant’ once again.
She explains that since a woman cannot win her ‘battle’ by ‘showing off’ the delights of a marriage and a wedding without having a husband then she cannot be ‘triumphant’ by getting married, except not yet. While Bathsheba seems a bit shallow, her self-determination and powerful quest for success are commendable, and she remains a sympathetic yet surreal character. Hardy has manipulated Bathsheba so much that she has unusually selective characteristics whilst simultaneously attempting to convincingly portray her as typically Victorian without hindering Fanny Robin’s character so much as to effectively ruin it.
Fanny Robin is a young orphaned servant girl at the farm who runs away the night Gabriel arrives in the village. With Fanny’s character, Hardy has chosen to use her to such an extent that she has become what is perhaps the most emotionally unstable character in the entire story and by doing this, he has attempted to manipulate her along with Bathsheba to portray them as typical Victorian representatives.
She has an interesting but bleak role in the story but has a surprisingly significant effect on some of the major scenes without exposing her self as a particularly dominant or socially intractable character. She attempts to marry sergeant troy early on in the play and then ends her participation in the play by tragically dying whilst giving birth to his child. She is a foil to Bathsheba, showing the fate of women who are not well cared for in this society.
Fanny robin is linked instantly with troy, has been helped kindly farmer Boldwood and has been the youngest maid in Bathsheba newly taken household, yet has a surprisingly unconvincing character compared with Bathsheba’s powerful dominance throughout the story. Fanny’s initial radiant excitement, her recent dejection, her memorable conversation with troy and her fatal error of mistaking the church for her marriage with troy all form a pathetic, wretched background to her unmistakably emotional and fragile character.