Hardy's Presentation of Bathsheba and Fanny's Experiences in Far from the Madding Crowd

Hardy's Presentation of Bathsheba and Fanny's Experiences in Far from the Madding Crowd

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Hardy's Presentation of Bathsheba and Fanny's Experiences in Far from the Madding Crowd

How does this novel reveal the social reality of the time?

In this essay I will look at Thomas Hardy's 'Far from the Madding
Crowd' in the first section, I will look at the different ways Hardy
portrays Bathsheba and Fanny's experiences. Since Hardy based this
novel in the 1840s, and being true to history, it does reveal a lot
about the social reality of the time. However, Hardy could have a
different perspective, as he is writing in the 1870s, which may have
affected his view on the 1840s social ideal.

Fanny is offered almost as a complete contrast to Bathsheba Fanny
wants to get married (though this could possibly be because she is
pregnant), she has no money, no home and no family, while Bathsheba
has everything (except the family) that Fanny doesn't have, including
her boyfriend too, Troy.

Bathsheba at the beginning represents a very rare kind of Victorian
woman, one who is proud, strong and independent. While Fanny is the
naïve and 'fallen' woman. As you progress through the novel, you see a
peculiar change coming over both women, they seem to change their
characters, Bathsheba becoming more like Fanny, and Fanny becoming
more like Bathsheba. Fanny shows her strength as she almost pulls
herself down the road by the will of her mind, 'holding onto the rail
she advanced, thrusting one hand forward, then the other, leaning over
it whilst she dragged her feet on beneath' a lesser woman would have
just sat down and given up, but she shows us her strength of character
as she tricks her body into making the steps, that would take her ever
nearer, to her death, so to speak.. Bathsheba however, allows herself
to b...


... middle of paper ...


... Even through the action of the characters,
especially the males, you can see how difficult it was for a female in
the 1840's society, the stir Bathsheba cause when she walks into the
farmers market 'for at her first entry the lumbering dialogues had
ceased, nearly every face turned towards her' and again at the farmers
market your attention is brought to the fact she is the only woman
there 'the single one of her sex that the room contained' a sign that
woman were not readily accepted in the farming world, or any place
that had money as its bases.

So in conclusion to be a woman in 1840's based on Hardy's description
would have been a very trying experience, a woman's role was to be
dressed up in pretty clothes and displayed, never to do anything but
sit at home and do the needle work, never to go and try something
different. To be seen and not heard.

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