Far From The Madding Crowd - Riding On The Waves
Thomas Hardy the last of the great Victorian masters has exerted a great influence on the upcoming generations through his novels. Hardy is extensively an interpreter of life who draws a vivid “imitation of life” (Sengupta 11) is clearly envisaged in his novels. It is a task that Hardy has undertaken to make his readers realize the truth about drama of life. Michael Millgate in Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited agrees that Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd bestowed on him a professional recognition and “impelled him forward into the front ranks of contemporary novelists” (149). Uncertainty and ambiguity fills the novel and the protagonist, Bathsheba Everdene’s capricious role becomes a recurring motif. The major revelation of her character initiates significant twists in her life. Bathsheba Everdene is undoubtedly one of Hardy’s remarkable characters who from a simpleton emerges into a woman of power but fails to lead a harmonious life on the account of her vanity. Her struggle against realism and the love for dramatic world lead her towards flirtation and uncontrollable desire for lust and pleasures. It is an account of her physical charm that she is courted and pursued by Gabriel Oak, Boldwood, and Troy. She is first courted by Gabriel Oak, a sincere and calm lover who has a very practical outlook in understanding the realistic predicament in life.