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MonkeyNotes-Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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Chapter 34

On the same evening, Gabriel is leaning over Coggan's garden- gate. A carriage drives up, and he hears the voices of Bathsheba and Liddy. Oak experiences an immense sense of relief to see her again.

Boldwood goes to Bathsheba's house to apologize for his behavior, but she refuses to see him. Boldwood leaves at once, feeling that Bathsheba has not forgiven him. As he walks through the village, he sees a carriage entering and the figure of Troy getting out. He goes to meet Troy and introduces himself. He tells him that he is aware of the reason why Fanny Robin has run away.

Boldwood proposes to Troy that he should marry Fanny and offers Troy fifty pounds immediately. He will also give another five hundred pounds on their wedding day. Troy pretends to be interested, but reminds Boldwood that Fanny is only a servant. This statement is meant as a taunt to Boldwood, who had earlier told Troy that he was no good for a woman like Bathsheba. Boldwood gives Troy the money. Troy teases Boldwood about carrying out the bargain. Boldwood reminds Troy that there still remains five hundred pounds for the wedding day.

When the sound of footsteps is heard on the road, Troy tells Boldwood that Bathsheba is coming to meet him and they must part company. Bathsheba does not see Boldwood as Troy comes up to meet her. Bathsheba tells Troy to visit her at the farmhouse, for she is expecting all the servants to go away. He promises that he will join her in a few minutes. Boldwood has heard their conversation and is visibly shaken that Bathsheba is willing to compromise herself. After she leaves, Boldwood is so angry that he tries to attack Troy; but Troy warns him that he is actually harming Bathsheba when attacking him.

Boldwood now insists that Troy should marry Bathsheba in order to protect her honor. He promises to pay Troy an additional twenty-one pounds that he has with him. Troy again accepts the offer, but insists that they must visit Bathsheba. When they reach her home, Troy goes inside for a candle. He gives Boldwood a newspaper and, pointing out a paragraph, asks him to read the announcement. It is the declaration of the marriage of Bathsheba to Troy.

Troy mocks Boldwood for his scheming. He taunts him that he would never bargain for a woman. He tells Boldwood that Fanny has been missing for some time although he has searched for her. Feeling that he has taught Boldwood a lesson, he throws his money on the road.

Boldwood, beside himself with anger, shouts at Troy that he will teach him a lesson. Troy merely laughs at him, locks himself inside the house, and leaves Boldwood to walk around the hills and valleys of Weatherbury all night long.


Notes

The action of the plot picks up in this chapter. Much of the suspense built up in the previous chapter about Bathsheba's trip to Bath is cleared. The contrast between the cruel, mocking Troy and the pitiable, foolish Boldwood is very striking. The reader now waits in suspense to read what Boldwood will do next. The story of Fanny still remains to be solved.

The impulsive Boldwood makes a fool of himself during his chance meeting with Troy. Troy enjoys inflicting suffering on Boldwood. He makes fun of Boldwood's scruples about honor in marriage. Boldwood, on his part, tries to bribe Troy, first to marry Fanny and then to marry Bathsheba. Although Troy teases Boldwood by taking the money, he throws it in the road with contempt at the end of the chapter. If Troy had not married the prosperous Bathsheba, he probably would have eagerly accepted any bribe.

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MonkeyNotes-Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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