” Thus, she is just making excuses to make him happier, to feel better about himself, by giving herself credit, believing she can be a nice person with a complement. However, boldwoods obsession cannot be halted and when she marries Troy, he is angered greatly. It is clear to see the affection Oak has for Bath. With her not around, his skill at fast shearing is faultless, but once distracted by her, accidents happen and concentration goes downhill, as you can see when he strips the groin of a sheep in attempt to overhear a conversation between Bath and Boldwood.
She eventually accepts Bolwoods hand in marriage, but after giving him hope of a future she once again is unsettled and becomes captivated by another man, Troy. Troy’s flattery appeals to her immensely as they are equally flirtatious with one another. Only Troy was only interested in her physical appearance. – Unlike bollwood. “It was a fatal omission of boldwood, that he’d never once told her that she was beautiful” Its obvious how Oak feels for Bathsheba, but she is torn between the choices of men interested in her. In a way she doesn’t realise how each man truly feels for her, and is blinded by sweet talk and flirtatious manners of Troy.
Oak on the other hand, as of his non-experience in a love life, therefore cannot properly woo her, the way she would like. All three men, Troy, Oak and Bellwood, are all after her, but only Oak feels passionate about her. Bath fails to realise since she thinks she wants more in a man than simplicity. In other words, she is in search of a romantic lifestyle. She fantasises tremendously, unlike oak, which is just looking for happiness. Bathsheba goes through a learning curve during the book. She goes through much anguish, which leads her into insight.
This effectively changes her, as he then becomes unmasked to Oak’s “education”. She finally sees that her romantic lifestyle will not bring her happiness and is not important in life. The key ingredient in this change was her experiences, which were triggered by her marriage to Troy. Bathsheba saw Troy as the idyllic man. He was flattering, kept Bathsheba surprised, but was unfortunately corrupt and deceiving. His flattery appealed to the vanity of Bathsheba and it is evident of the effect he has on her when she is talking with Liddy, shortly after an encounter. “A gay man…. very quick and trim….
such a clever young dand… he’s a doctors son by name which is a great deal: and he’s an earls son by nature. However, Troy is an untrustworthy man. He contrasts very much to the good will and nature of Oak. He is “moderately untruthful” and was unfamiliar to the idea of love. He saw it as irrelevant and did not respect its meaning. “He could speak of love and think of dinner. He professes his love to Bathsheba, and she falls victim to his flattery and allure. Troy represents corruption and is an evil character. An example of his corruption is seen as he gets the farmers’ drunk and denies the possibility of a storm.
As of this, the farmers are unable to salvage the harvest, which damages their income greatly. Oak warns the people of the storm and is sure that it will arrive due to his relationship with nature. He ends up saving Bathsheba’s harvest as of his good will. He could have been killed in his efforts to save the harvest, which shows his devotion to Bathsheba. Bath is given an obvious lesson as to the worth of Troy and the untrustworthiness of Troy. Another example of Troy’s sinister and malevolent character can be seen in the way in which he treats Boldwood.
Troy relishes from the humiliating circumstance that Boldwood is in and takes pleasure in degrading him. He admits that he prefers Fanny to Bath which hurts Boldwood deeply. Boldwood then feels insignificant and unwanted as Troy can win over Bathsheba despite him not wanting her or loving her like he does. Troy also taunts and tortures Boldwood by claiming that he has slept with Bathsheba. It is proof here that Troy is an evil character in the way he receives joy from the pain he inflicts but despite this Bathsheba still falls for him. His charm manages to pierce a passage towards Bathsheba’s heart.
He succeeds in destroying Bathsheba’s insecurity, which causes her to become obsessed towards him. His appeal in her only lies in her beauty. She laces her heart on a plate for him, only to find that he is using her for the money and farm. What’s more, it becomes known that he loves Fanny and not her. This is devastating to her and damages her deeply. There is no greater pain than to be betrayed and used by someone that you love. To add salt to the wounds, she then finds out that Fanny was pregnant with Troy’s child before she died, putting her into a more depressed state.
This is despite Oak’s best efforts to protect her from this hurtful truth. On the side of the coffin was chalked on the side “Fanny Robin and child”. Oak erases the last two words in an effort to do Bathsheba a service. Troy then disappears for his own selfish motives, leaving Bath in a fragile state, overcome with pathos. When he returns again, he is shot dead by Boldwood who has turned insane. The obsessive passion for Bath drove him to use a Shotgun on Troy. HE wanted to eliminate any possible competition to Bath’s love and saw Troy as an obstacle to Bathsheba’s heart.
Bathsheba then has to live with the guilt that she has turned a man insane and caused him to commit such a terrible crime. To make things worse Boldwood nearly kills himself and if he had done so; Bathsheba might have been the next person to turn insane. “She’ll go out of her mind too. Poor thing: her sufferings have been dreadful”. After these experiences Bath became a completely different person. She comes to regret her impulsiveness and feels sullied by Troy’s influence over her. In her solitude, Bathsheba is in the depths of misery.
When she spends the night in a swamp filled hollow, the place is seen as “malignant” and exhaling “the essence of evil things in the earth”. Hardy is using nature here to represent the despair and state of mind of Bathsheba. Bathsheba longs for “patience and suspension of judgement” but there is “nobody to teach her. ” Bathsheba can now see the mistakes that she has done, and thinks of Gabriel’s education and begins to see him as the ideal man. “What a way Oak had… of enduring things. ” She tries to go to Oak’s house and ask him for guidance but cannot bring herself to disturb him.
She now truly values his qualities and recognises them by giving him the job of Bailiff. Bathsheba has now proceeded through the hardest part of the learning curve. Through her experiences, she has finally admitted to herself that the way she had lived was a false one and that she needed to improve. Bath is now showing signs that she wishes to improve and that she has learnt o possess a better nature. For instance, she shows tenderness towards the grave of Fanny rather than spite and selfish bitterness. A transition has come about in Bathsheba’s life.
“Her original vigorous pride of youth has sickened”. She realises that if she continues on her proud and superficial road, it will lead to a dark future for herself. The rustic community and Bathsheba’s friends notice that a transformation has occurred within Bathsheba. “Only two years ago she was a romping girl and now she is this! ” Bathsheba has given up her urge to be beautiful and has now become a woman that is of good will, love, moral, and is on a path to becoming like Oak. She is even talked about in conjunction with nature, which at the beginning of the book would have been unconsidered.
When Bathsheba is in conversation over the subject with Oak, she accepts his advice and remains calm. This is further proof of her change. Before she was overcome with anger when he was honest with him but on this occasion there was no evidence of her pride being wounded. She tries to make up for her mistakes, and in doing so must apologise for her actions. For this reason when Boldwood and Bathsheba are in conversation after leaving the fair she admits that her treatment of him was wrong and incorrect. She shows a true sign of change, “Mt treatment of you was thoughtless, inexcusable and wicked.
” She feels a tremendous amount of guilt as of what she has done and agrees to marry him. She admits to Oak that she feels incapable to successfully bearing the burden of Boldwood’s happiness and sanity. Moreover she feels duty bound to assume the responsibility as of her past actions. Bathsheba becomes overcome with fainting fits, and when she comes out of these, we can see the extent of her guilt. “O it is my fault-how can I live! O heaven, how can I live! ” She sees the marriage to Boldwood as a debt, which she is obliged to pay off.
Bathsheba also accepts his hand in marriage for he showed great strength of emotion and gave into his strong character just like Troy. However, Boldwood’s flattery does not affect Bathsheba as it earlier did with Troy. The admiration of others has no affect on her and being told that he is beautiful would not make her any happier. Bathsheba has changed to the extent that she no longer relishes being in the public eye. Her insecurity has disappeared and her vanity has disintegrated. She desires to wear a black dress rather than something bright and colourful that would attract the eye of others.
She does not wish to be beautiful anymore. To complete Bathsheba’s cycle of change, she becomes the one who is chasing Oak. When he decides he is going to California, she sees how reliant she has been upon him and how vulnerable she is without him. Oak’s pending departure to California is necessary in her cathartic regeneration, as she still believes she has a right to Oak’s “hopeless love”. Bathsheba is in tears upon Oak’s letter of resignation and it prompts her to seek Oak rather than vice-versa, which is a sign of a repentant.
Bathsheba is no more the flirty vane materialistic girl as we saw in the beginning of the novel but is now a lady who does not wish to be the centre of attention and wants a quiet simple wedding. On the wedding night she is dressed plainly as she too has become a simpleton just like Oak. “Though so plainly dressed, there was a certain rejuvenated appearance about her”. Her past experiences had left an imprint on her personality and life. Bathsheba was now a completely new person, modified to live a happy life. She was like a “rose” that shut and become a “bud again”.