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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD by Thomas Hardy Does Hardy want Bathsheba to appear good or bad Discuss and give reasons Gabriel Oak is the hero of Far From the Madding Crowd but Bathsheba Everdene is a more ordinary person who is a mixture of good and bad Gabriel Oak does not change very much through the novel he is always noble and reliable but Bathsheba changes as the experiences in her life force her to learn and change When we first meet Bathsheba the gatekeeper tells Gabriel that this beautiful black-haired woman has one fault vanity but she is obviously attractive enough for Gabriel to ask for her hand in marriage and she is independent and honest enough to tell him she would never marry him because she does not love him At this time Bathsheba has no fortune of her own while Gabriel has earned enough to purchase a farm with 200 sheep His prospects were good and it would have been easy for Bathsheba to accept him at a time when women were expected to take second place to men Bathsheba admits she would like to have the things that went with marriage - a piano pets her own carriage her name in the marriage announcements - but she objects to losing her freedom She seems to have a strong character and a mind of her own without losing the sympathy of the people around her When Gabriel hears that Bathsheba has left and gone to a place called Weatherbury he only loves her all the more The next time they meet it is Bathsheba who has a small fortune and Gabriel who is penniless After Gabriel has saved the straw-rick from a fire Bathsheba hires him as a shepherd They respect each other and it is hard to believe that Gabriel Oakdene would work for any man or woman he did not
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