The Madding Crowd’ Bathsheba

At the end of the novel ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ Bathsheba marries Oak for various reasons. I will be discussing these reasons in the following paragraphs. One of the obvious reasons would be that Oak is the only one left due to Troy’s death and Boldwood’s imprisonment. On the other hand, she could have chosen not to marry Oak and remain single for her remaining years. However, she did marry him because of other reasons, which is what will be discussed in the rest of this essay. Bathsheba didn’t want to marry Boldwood due to his personality, way of life and his motives.

If we were to consider these aspects of Boldwood we would be able to understand why she didn’t want to marry him. Boldwood is a wealthy gentleman farmer and a bachelor of forty. He was a Puritan where he believed that there should be no fun every Sunday, but to just sit and read the bible. However, this is what it was like for him all the time where in his house ‘the atmosphere was that of a Puritan Sunday lasting all the week. ‘ This character is completely in contrast to that of Bathsheba’s because she wants to have excitement all the time.

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She tells Oak this when he makes a proposal to her: ‘I want somebody to tame me, I am too independent, and you would never be able to, I know. ‘ Boldwood’s life does not offer much, being very dull and has a monastic meaning for him. Boldwood’s reputation is one of where people consider him as being dull and empty. In fact, when Bathsheba asks Liddy what Boldwood is like, she told Bathsheba that he was ‘rather stern looking’ and he does not see any ‘humour’ in things. Bathsheba is ‘vain’ where she likes to flirt with men and likes to be told that she is beautiful.

However, Boldwood uses very little language where when he describes something he uses no adjectives or emotions. For example, if he were to describe a chair he would say that it has legs and is big or small rather than saying that it is very nice and very well polished. This is seen when he describes Bathsheba. The third paragraph of chapter seven states: ‘Boldwood looked at her – not silly, critically, or understandingly, but blankly at gaze, in the way a reaper looks up at a passing train – as something foreign to his element, and but dimly understood.

‘ The next paragraph shows the way he describes her: ‘black hair,’ ‘correct facial curves and profile, and the roundness of her chin and throat. ‘ Instead of describing her as beautiful, having nice hair, eyes and etc, he describes her factually. Therefore, he cannot win women like Bathsheba. This explains why she marries Troy who is handsome, unstable and a romantic liar. His romantic talk attracts Bathsheba where he flatters her by speaking highly of her beauty: ‘I said you were beautiful and I’ll say so still.

‘ Bathsheba likes to be told that she is beautiful and Oak is the first one to notice this where he describes her as being ‘vain. ‘ The relationship grows more when Troy purposefully gives his watch to her, giving her a little historic information on the watch where he tells her that he inherited it from his father: ‘It was all the fortune that I ever inherited. ‘ This flatters her because he is giving to her what he has inherited. Bathsheba feels honoured that he is going to give it up for her. When he says ‘We have got hitched together somehow I think,’ this is ironic because this is another way of saying that they are married.

Troy knows that Bathsheba loves being flattered and so he uses that aspect of her personality to trap her by flattering her. That is why he is a good judge of character where he is also able to find the weak spots of a person and knows how to play with the weak spots. ‘Are you a woman? A lady I should have said. ‘ This flattens Bathsheba because the word ‘lady’ makes her feel beautiful, young and of a high social status. This is true anyway about her, but nobody has ever said this to her. For example Oak and Boldwood don’t but Troy does.

When Troy says ‘Thank you for such a beautiful face’ Bathsheba feels special and beautiful. However, she tells him off. But he plays a trick by not arguing back or walking off, but accepts the telling off and goes his way. Whereas Oak would just walk off and forget about it, like he did when her aunt refused for him to have her. Troy is continuously firing out romantic words at Bathsheba in order to deceive her. For example, ‘I like you the better for the incivility miss’ ‘But I have never seen a woman as beautiful as you. Take it or leave it, I don’t care’ – Troy is pretending to be honest to her.

Troy is able to discern that Bathsheba is vain, and therefore he flatters her continuously, as seen. Whereas Boldwood never tells Bathsheba that she is beautiful, in fact he is not sure if she is. ‘It was fatal omission of Boldwood’s that he had never once told her that she was beautiful. ‘ Troy shows off to Bathsheba by showing his sword skills to her. While he is doing this he tells her not to move. She does exactly as he says, showing that she trusts Troy. Again this shows that she is under his power. This means that she is getting closer and closer to her. In fact, matters become more serious when Troy kisses her.

Bathsheba thinks that she has committed a moral sin, but Troy has mesmerised her by this tactic. Even more, Troy asks Bathsheba to help him in putting on the veil – ‘Will you kindly show me how to fix them properly. ‘ This is just an excuse to become closer to her physically. The Victorians would become angry because people back then were allowed to do that only if they were married. At the beginning of the novel Oak asks Bathsheba to marry him to which she refuses for various reasons. It is easy to see why Bathsheba rejected him when he asked to marry her, the main reason being that, in her youthful nai??

veti?? and romantic fantasies, she did not want to be tied either to him or the mundane duties of a housewife. The glamour of a wedding appeals to her, but not the life of dull domesticity which follows. A simple shepherd was not her ideal husband and she obviously wanted someone better than that. He was also very unspectacular, a simple man with simple ways who shows very little flair in the things that he does. This is partly seen in the very first chapter where he is described as wearing a ‘low-crowned felt hat, spread out at the base by tight jamming upon the head for security in high winds…