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Far From the Madding Crowd
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2015 > Far From the Madding Crowd: Chapters 14 - 27

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message 1: by Marie (last edited Aug 10, 2015 01:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession

As he continues to consider the sender of the anonymous valentine, a letter is mistakenly received by Boldwood, addressed to Gabriel and containing a message from Fanny, thanking him for his kindness and assuring him of her plans to marry soon. Boldwood inquired whether Gabriel might know the sender of the valentine, and Gabriel tells him it was Bathsheba.

I want you for my wife—so wildly that no other feeling can abide in me

Convinced he must be in love with the card's author, he goes to speak with Bathsheba and proposes to her. But she refuses him, and goes to speak with Gabriel while he sharpens the shears in preparation for the season.

"Well, then, Bathsheba!" said Oak, stopping the handle, and gazing into her face with astonishment.

"Miss Everdene, you mean," she said, with dignity.

"I mean this, that if Mr. Boldwood really spoke of marriage, I bain't going to tell a story and say he didn't to please you. I have already tried to please you too much for my own good!”


Burn, Madam

"I may ask, I suppose, where in particular my unworthiness lies? In my not marrying you, perhaps!"

"Not by any means," said Gabriel quietly. "I have long given up thinking of that matter."

"Or wishing it, I suppose," she said; and it was apparent that she expected an unhesitating denial of this supposition.

Whatever Gabriel felt, he coolly echoed her words—”

“Or wishing it either.”


Burn again, Madam

“Very well, so I will," said Gabriel calmly. He had been held to her by a beautiful thread which it pained him to spoil by breaking, rather than by a chain he could not break. "I should be even better pleased to go at once," he added.

When the sheep manage to break the fence into a field of clover, Bathsheba is forced to send for Gabriel to save them. Gabriel manages to save all but a few of the sheep, and Bathsheba asks him to come back to work as her shepherd. However, Gabriel's seeming to have moved passed his feelings for her, begins to agitate her. She starts seeing more of Boldwood, and ensuring Gabriel often sees them together. After a supper to celebrate the end of the sheering season, Bathsheba promises Boldwood she will consider her feelings for him and his proposal during his absence over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Fanny has confused the location of the church, and missed her wedding to Troy. Using the insult, he has left her alone and returned home. Late that evening, he meets Bathsheba in the woods.


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Bathsheba regarded him with round-eyed perplexity. She did not know whether to pity him for disappointed love of her, or to be angry with him for having got over it—his tone being ambiguous.

Women are never tired of bewailing man's fickleness in love, but they only seem to snub his constancy

It was a fatal omission of Boldwood's that he had never once told her she was beautiful.


I just feel like those three statements kind of perfectly describe Bathsheba's character...


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments I case anyone was on the fence, these three statements clearly show (if true) just how vain and shallow Bathsheba can be about matters of the heart.

She seems (from the above statements) to want universal admiration from men--even if she has no interest in them.

Typical of silly young women, she responds to/is excited by the practiced flattery of Troy--even in the face of her (weak) rejection.

Though she liked being the object of desire of Boldwood and GO, without intending to return their regard, they don't make mention of flattering platitudes. These two men are more genuine.


QNPoohBear | 473 comments Bathsheba is her most annoying in this section. She's horrible to both Oak and Boldwood. I feel sorry for both the men. She couldn't let it go that Boldwood wouldn't even look at her. She just had to get him on her string. She doesn't even consider the reaction or consequences of her actions. She has that much in common with Fanny but I don't think Fanny is very bright.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments QNPB, I can kind of excuse Fanny. She isn't as well-educated as BS. Fanny was a maid, no opportunity for education.


QNPoohBear | 473 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "QNPB, I can kind of excuse Fanny. She isn't as well-educated as BS. Fanny was a maid, no opportunity for education."

Right and I don't think she's all that bright to begin with either. She's very innocent and naive. Bathsheba is not so naive and she should know better than to toy with a man's affections. Didn't her aunt ever tell her that?!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments I wish I knew BS backstory: How old was she when parents died, what happened to her when they died? Was she taken in by relatives? Is she so independent and some would say "headstrong" because she's been on her own?


QNPoohBear | 473 comments She was living with an aunt in the beginning of the novel and one would assume her aunt should have taken the place of a mother but it doesn't sound like it. Maybe the mother was sickly or afflicted with melancholia so Bathsheba took care of everything but had no one to take care of her?


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments QNPB, you might be onto something about the mother. BS is a little manager, if nothing else!


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Bathsheba is definitely at her worst in this section. Her treatment of Gabriel, and wanting him to pine after her without regard for his feelings, and being angry that he may have moved on from her, is one of the things that have always made me angriest at her character. Then there's Troy... But at least Gabriel liked her of his own accord. Boldwood didn't have to happen. That was all her.

I give credit for Fanny at least knowing that if you slept with a man in her society, there should be a discussion or expectation of commitment. She expected him to marry her afterwards. Her naïveté in believing him...


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "She was living with an aunt in the beginning of the novel and one would assume her aunt should have taken the place of a mother but it doesn't sound like it. Maybe the mother was sickly or afflicte..."

Way late here!
Note she was living with an aunt, not an aunt and uncle. Maybe this was an old spinster aunt, who had no experience to share with her!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments Marie wrote: "Bathsheba is definitely at her worst in this section. Her treatment of Gabriel, and wanting him to pine after her without regard for his feelings, and being angry that he may have moved on from her..."

Marie, WIth reagrd to Fanny, I think that Troy may have promised her marriage to get her to sleep with him. Not the first time...


message 13: by Marie (last edited Aug 11, 2015 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Marie wrote: "Bathsheba is definitely at her worst in this section. Her treatment of Gabriel, and wanting him to pine after her without regard for his feelings, and being angry that he may have mov..."

Oh definitely! I just meant it was ultimately down to her whether or not to trust him to do so. Regardless of age or education, she had to know people lie. She was young, and trusted him, and in love... It doesn't make for the best of decisions

I can't believe I've read this twice and can't remember, but was she living with the aunt, or there for a short time to help?


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments I think he was sincere in his proposal. He showed up at the church, after all. But of course, she wasn't there. It looked as though she'd stood him up, and he lost face in front of fellow soldiers and a few others. Then, immediately after, he sees BE. And it occurs to him that something "better" had just come along.....


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Marie wrote: "Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Marie wrote: "Bathsheba is definitely at her worst in this section. Her treatment of Gabriel, and wanting him to pine after her without..."

I read it in June, before movie came out, and seem to remember that they were raising her after her parents had passed. Will double-check (it's on the Kindle).

You're right, and in that sense, Fanny seemed to lose her head over this character, whereas BE seems more wary, or seems to be able to hold onto some sense of logic until this handsome one shows. But remember, when GO first shows, she's young and while attracted to him, holds the illusion of finding someone of her own station. Then, that becomes even more important, when she inherits and her station rises further. Finally, Boldwood's significantly older. I couldn't believe that either she or Fanny trifled with anyone's affections with that valentine. Seemed so mean and hurtful, regardless of who the victim was.


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
I think it was a little of both, more than he realised. Bathsheba and Troy do share a few similarities in character, but that might be later...


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments Linda wrote: "I think he was sincere in his proposal. He showed up at the church, after all. But of course, she wasn't there. It looked as though she'd stood him up, and he lost face in front of fellow soldiers ..."

I don't know if I read it wrong, but I thought that Troy deliberately caused confusion for the location of the ceremony so that he could trick Fanny and get out of going through with the marriage. I didn' think he ever had any intention of marrying Fanny.


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
I think that was part of it. He obviously was trying to placate her that night at the window - partially to save face. But she had him by his knowing she was going to apply for the license. He did seem slightly shocked when she never arrived - in front of all those people - but he certainly used it to get out of the marriage. I think it was both the insult to his ego, and an excuse.

His ego being one of the similarities between him and Bathsheba.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments Marie, I didn't make that connection that both BS and Troy are full of ego where the opposite sex is concerned--have that in common.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Linda wrote: "I think he was sincere in his proposal. He showed up at the church, after all. But of course, she wasn't there. It looked as though she'd stood him up, and he lost face in front of fe..."

Could be I'm letting the film influence my memory, bc they definitely painted that whole scene as his being very ashamed, etc. And I think they glossed over the scene where Fanny goes to the dorm at night looking for him and he blows her off


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments I haven't seen the films at all.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments Marie, I'll have to try to get a hard copy and read the part where he waits at the church for Fanny. Perhaps I missed something, but I did not feel he was "shocked" that Fanny hadn't shown up. I took it that he was giving a performance, (pretending shock, embarrassment at being left waiting at the alter) and would have been truly shocked if Fanny had figured out his subterfuge and got to the church in time for him to have "go through" with the ceremony for real.


QNPoohBear | 473 comments At first I thought Troy tricked Fanny but he did seem genuinely angry she went to the wrong church. His pride was wounded so he turned away from poor Fanny. It was an excuse but I don't think he would have ever been faithful to Fanny anyway. It sounded like a Wickham/Lydia situation.


message 24: by Linda Abhors the New GR Design (last edited Aug 11, 2015 06:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Ch XVI--he enters the church, "strode up the aisle, with an embarrassment which was only the more marked by the intense vigor of his step, and by the determination on his face to show none.".....(the gossipy female parishoners decide to stay,etc)...
The clock strikes half-past eleven..."The young sargeant stood still with the abnormal rigidity of the old pillars around. He faced the south-east, and was as silent as he was still."
Minutes go on, no one appears...Now it's 11:45...people start whispering...people start shifting, shuffling, whispering.
"But the soldier never moved. There he stood, his face to the south-east, upright as a column, his cap in his hand." The clock ticks on..now, they're giggling..now it's noon. So he's been there 45 minutes! The clerk and the clergyman have disappeared..."The sergeant had not yet turned; every woman in the church was waiting to see his face, and he appeared to know it. At last he did turn, and stalked resolutely down the nave, braving them all, with a compressed lip....."
I guess I saw that as his losing face. I never considered the possibility that it was all set up (for it certainly could have been), but it still seems like he gave it a long time, standing there in the hot uniform. Fanny says it was her mistake--"Oh, Frank-I made a mistake!-I thought that church with the spire was All Saints', and I was at the door....and found then that I was in All Souls'(she's in an unfamiliar town). But I wasn't much frightened, for I thought it could be to-morrow as well."-The girl's desperate to marry him, but can't remember which day she's supposed to marry him!?

So she proposes the next day, and he says "I don't go through that experience again for some time, I warrant you!"

True, he's not taken with the idea. When she goes to the barracks to see him, he pretends not to remember what he promised. And then says, "If I said so, of course I will." (You're right about that, he seems less than thrilled- she definitely took him by surprise, he never expected her to follow him). He claime to want to marry Fanny, when he runs into Boldwood, and there the ruse of getting money out of Boldwood.
When he sees her on the road, he says "Why didn't you write to me?...in a strangely gentle, yet hurried voice..."

Yes, it would have been the "right" thing to do, to honor his promise and do right by Fanny. But I got the sense he felt embarrassed, and wasn't going to go through with it, and certainly not after she provided him with an excuse, albeit a flimsy one. He could honestly say, after waiting an hour, "Well, I tried".

I guess I just don't find anything that says he set it all up, and his behavior later, when he sees her dead in the coffin at BE's (or, his) house, seems to convey that he did feel something for her. At least, more than he does for BE, though in hindsight, he might have realized that Fanny would be easier to "handle" than BE.


QNPoohBear | 473 comments At first I saw Frank as a Mr. Wickhma - lazy, good for nothing who just happened to have this girl throwing herself at him, so why not? Fanny was Boldwood's responsibility so Frank may have thought there would be some money in it for him if he presented himself to Boldwood as Fanny's husband and/or to get bribe money out of Boldwood to marry Fanny. It worked for Wickham anyway.

When Frank meets Bathsheba in the woods, I thought he was one of those charmers who can make a girl fall in love with him by being his normal, charming self. The plot gets a lot more interesting right there and I later changed my mind about Frank.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Well, there had to be someone, because as it was, she was blowing off both GO and Boldwood.
Funny part is, I didn't see Frank as attractive at all in the film, and definitely not more exciting than GO or Boldwood. Kind of "Freddie Mercury"-looking. GO, in his Burberry clothes, made my friend promise she'll go see anything he's in......and she usually doesn't say stuff like that.


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Well, there had to be someone, because as it was, she was blowing off both GO and Boldwood.
Funny part is, I didn't see Frank as attractive at all in the film, and definitely not more exciting th..."


There's something I love about the idea of Gabriel Oak in Burberry...


message 28: by Linda Abhors the New GR Design (last edited Aug 14, 2015 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments It's part of what makes the film worth watching.....:)
And I don't even "know" fashion the way you do. But I kept commenting on all their clothes and told my friend "that has to be Burberry." And it was.

I told Anne she has to check for the photo of your babies, but I may have told her the wrong chapter sequence/discussion to look for! I know she'll love that pic!


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "It's part of what makes the film worth watching.....:)
And I don't even "know" fashion the way you do. But I kept commenting on all their clothes and told my friend "that has to be Burberry." And i..."


Oh my gosh this movie is so good!! I finally got to see it tonight. I was disappointed with a few of the things they left out - mostly due to time - but it's amazing. And so gorgeous! And the soundtrack is fantastic. And Burberry Gabriel is fantastic.

Linda, have you and your friend seen The Loft? If you like Mr Matthias, you might like that one.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Marie wrote: "Linda wrote: "It's part of what makes the film worth watching.....:)
And I don't even "know" fashion the way you do. But I kept commenting on all their clothes and told my friend "that has to be Bu..."


No, I haven't. We don't get together as much as we'd like, bc she's 40 minutes away, which in L'il Rhody is, like, "pack a lunch in case we get hungry on the way back" far away! (Seriously, people out here need to adjust their concept of distance!)

I'm so glad you finally saw it! I loved it! To be honest, I was rushing a conference paper to leave for Ireland, or I would have seen it more than once, I think! Everything was so beautifully shot--I wondered how they lucked out and got that many sunny mornings in England!

Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe somehow we can get together and watch it-otherwise, I'll Netflix it all alone...


QNPoohBear | 473 comments Linda wrote: "Marie wrote: "No, I haven't. We don't get together as much as we'd like, bc she's 40 minutes away, which in L'il Rhody is, like, "pack a lunch in case we get hungry on the way back" far away! (Seriously, people out here need to adjust their concept of distance!)"

LOL 40 mins is soooo far away. That's like the trip from where I live to URI by CAR. Don't forget how we don't like to cross bridges either. I almost never see my best friend either and she's not that far away - 20 minutes maybe. Far From the Madding Crowd showed briefly at the Avon in Providence but disappeared almost as fast as it arrived. My mom and grandmother saw it in PA.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Diod you get to see it here QandPooh?


QNPoohBear | 473 comments Linda wrote: "Dio you get to see it here QandPooh?"
No. It disappeared in a week or two. I guess I was waiting for my mom who also wanted to see it. It's On Demand and on DVD now so I'll see it eventually.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments I'm going to try to see it in September via Netfix or something.


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
I live with two million plus people, and only one of our theaters had it for two days...

I ordered the DVD and it finally came today. You'll definitely not be disappointed.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 127 comments It think it was in the theater last month while I was reading it.

I certainly didn't want to see it before I'd finished the book. But, it would have been nice to see on the big screen--to see the locations that were chosen to reflect THs lovely descriptions of the great outdoors. :)


Marie Williams | 713 comments Mod
The credits say filmed in Dorset, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. The scenes are beautiful, and had to be amazing on a large screen.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 531 comments Oh, yes, they were!


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