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MonkeyNotes-Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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Chapter 27

It is the latter half of the month of June. The day after meeting Troy in the hayfield, Bathsheba sees that a swarm of bees have settled in the orchard. The bees often settle in low branches of trees, making it easy for a worker to catch the bees in their hive. This year, since they have been late in the swarming, the bees have chosen a high bough for their hive, and ladders and long poles would have to be used.

Seeing that most of her workers are busy in haymaking, Bathsheba decides to hive the bees herself. Wearing gloves, a large hat, and a heavy veil, she starts up the ladder. Troy spies her and offers his help. Bathsheba hurries down the ladder with hive in hand. Troy offers to shake the bees into the hive for her; she insists that he must wear the necessary protective hat, gloves, and veil. Bathsheba bursts out laughing when see sees Troy in the attire. As Troy is busy with his work, she uses the time to freshen her appearance. Having finished the hiving, he comes down and asks her to untie the veil. To ease the awkward situation, Bathsheba asks Troy about the sword exercise that he wants to demonstrate to her. Bathsheba says that having heard stories about his skill with the sword, she would like to watch the exercise. Troy promises to give her a demonstration if she will meet him in the evening. Bathsheba is at first unwilling to meet him alone and suggest bringing Liddy along with her; but Troy coldly refuses to accept her idea. Bathsheba finally agrees to meet him for a short while.


Notes

With every meeting, Troy and Bathsheba seem more attracted to each other, and their meetings come more frequently in order to quicken the action of the plot. When Bathsheba is with him, she is a different person. She is awed by Troy's appearance and flattery. She is also much warmer to him than she has been to either Boldwood or Oak.. In fact, she has become weak and vulnerable on account of her infatuation for Troy.

In the picture of rustic life that Hardy paints in this chapter, he shows that the passing of the seasons is noted by things other than the changing weather; in the country, each season is marked by the task that has to be completed by the villagers on their farms. Spring is for planting and washing the sheep; summer is for shearing, haymaking. and hiving of the bees. It is also symbolic that the love between Bathsheba and Troy occurs and grows in summer. Theirs is an intense relationship, just like the summer weather is intense.

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MonkeyNotes-Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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