Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding Crowd eBook by Thomas Hardy - 9780553905557 | Rakuten  Kobo United States

The tone of this novel is light-hearted, humorous, lively and full of love for ordinary farmers, which is different from the heavy tragic color in Hardy’s later works. Although the reunion finale also contains themes familiar to readers in later works, such as pain and betrayal, the novel still shows a clear romantic color. In the novel, Hardy rendered the primitiveness and roughness of the natural scenery in Wessex with heavy color and ink, suggesting the potential deterrent force of such natural environment. However, man is extremely small and weak in front of the vast nature. A rainstorm or fire can destroy all the fruits of people’s hard work. An uncertain fate pervades “Far from the Madding Crowd”.

Poor Boldwood was tormented by fate. He poured all his feelings, thoughts, energy, and possessions into Bathsheba. Troy’s presence twice shattered his hopes just as he was within reach, so it was futile to demand what was fated to be unattainable. The beginning of the novel sets the tone that Bathsheba cannot live without Oak. In spite of Oak’s mediocre talent and appearance, in spite of the fact that his sheep had gone bankrupt and he had been reduced from a rich farmer to a wandering hand, Bathsheba had become the mistress of the farm because she had inherited her uncle’s fortune.

The conflicts between human beings and society in Hardy’s later novels reveal more about the social root of the characters’ tragedies, weaken the concept of fate, and replace the contingency with the inevitability of tragedy, which is the mature deepening of the author’s tragedy consciousness. However, such maturity and deepening are based on the conflicts originally embodied in “Far from the Madding Crowd”. In the plot structure, Hardy often sets up two parallel love clues and uses a lot of means such as chance, coincidence and mutation, making the love triangle between two women and a man or two men and a woman closely linked and fascinating. Techniques such as creating a heavy, tragic atmosphere through bleak depictions of the environment were pioneered in “Far from the Madding Crowd”.

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