Far from the madding crowd’ is set in the late 1860s to the early 1870s
in Wessex, a fictional county based heavily on Dorset.
Far From The Madding Crowd
Thomas hardy was born in 1840 in Dorset which is located near
Dorchester. Hardy's first important novel was Far from the Madding
Crowd in which he successfully adapted to a traditional form to his
own purposes, slightly changing it in the process. His novel states
the importance of man's connection to, and understanding of, the
natural world. The story is set in an agricultural rural community. He
viewed the industrial revolution as a major threat to the communities
he loved. The main character in this novel is a shepherd ...view middle of the document...
people such as Oak liked to hold onto their traditional views and
values. Nowadays many of these views would be considered conservative
and possibly outdated. Oak being a Shepard is very significant because
it links back to the bible, so there are a lot of religious and
biblical references in this novel. Most people went to church on
Sunday. Church was very important. We learn that Gabriel Oak goes to
church but doesn’t take it seriously. Hardy uses rural dialect to
bring the minor characters to life, this gives them some personality.
‘Higgling matter’. Even though it is a winter’s day it is described as
being spring. There is a reference to the girl having ‘vernal charm’.
This symbolizes as spring which is associated with a new start. The
new start in this case is Gabriel’s and the women’s relationship.
From the very beginning of chapter one, we have been given a positive
description of Gabriel oak from Thomas Hardy. In paragraph one, we
have been given a description of farmer Oak having a big cheerful
‘When farmer oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they
were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced
to chinks and diverging wrinkles appeared around them’
Gabriel's name is very significant in relation to his character, which
refers back to the bible comparing with the angel Gabriel, but he is
not just meant to be a holy saint, he is a very real person with very
human feelings, and this becomes obvious as his relationship with
Bathsheba grows. Also Gabriel’s second name, Oak, is significant as
well because it represents and oak tree, which is large, strong,
reliable and independent. An oak tree has lengthy roots, this is a
comparison with Gabriel because he is traditional and he also likes to
hold onto his roots.
Thomas Hardy has described his personality as a ‘young man of sound
judgments, easy motions, proper dress and a general good character’.
For farmer oaks physical features he has been described as being a
well built person. He looks young ‘curves of youth’ and also there is
a quote stating that oak looks youthful and he ages very slowly
(appearance wise), e.g. ‘Tarried’.
Oak is seen as an open minded person, we know that he likes old things
like the small pocket watch (‘fob’) he carries around with him, this
could be sentimental to him,‘ this instrument, being several years
older than Oaks grandfathers’. Oak is ‘proper dressed’, he wears large
boots and also wears a huge coat, the huge coat is referred back to Dr
Johnson, who is a very important man of history, he was the first
person to write the very first dictionary, ‘and a coat like Dr
Johnson’s’ this is significant because Dr Johnson used to carry around
a dictionary around with him in his large pocket, and in this case
Gabriel being a Shepard carries lambs in his pocket. From the opinion
of others, farmer Oak is seen as a ‘rather bad man’ by other people,
the other characters...