Far From the Madding Crowd Questions and Answers
- Introduce Gabriel Oak.
Gabriel Oak was a modest sheep farmer. He commanded general respect of his neighbours on account of his honesty and integrity. He was liked by all for his courteous manners. Oak was 28. He was always dressed in outlandish and awkard dress. He had a watch with him, which was ever fast or slow.
- Describe the first meeting between Oak and Bathsheba.
One December morning Gabriel saw a spring waggon on the road between Emminster and Chalk-Newton, laden with various domestic goods. Bathsheba, the heroine was sitting on the top of all the goods. Gabriel saw her, without being seen by her. He deeply fell in love with her at the first sight. At the turn-pike gate, an altarcation took place between the gate-keeper and Bathsebha, for she was paying two pence less than was due. Oak came forward and paid it on behalf of her. But, the girl did not pay thanks and the waggon passed the gate.
- How did Bathsheba search her lost hat?
Bathsheba came on horseback to get back her lost hat. But, it was found out by Oak who saw her doing some manly exercise on horse-back. As the path was narrow and the branches of the tree were hanging very low, the lady threw herself in full length in order to pass under the bows, untouched by the twigs. Oak was awed to see the agility of this woman. Later, he gave her hat back to her when Bathsheba was coming out after milking. However, she felt ashamed as Oak told to have seen her on horse-back doing some fine exercises.
- How was Oak’s life saved by Bathsheba?
Oak was trying to burn some fuel inside the cottage in order to make the hut warm for himself and his lambs. But, due to headache, he fell asleep with all the doors closed. He would have died of suffocation but, his faithful dog continued to bark and drew the attention of the same pretty woman who came to milk her cows. Getting back consciousness, Oak saw himself lying on the lap of the lady, Oak asked his savior’s name but she offered herself for a kiss but Oak did it not. And Bathsheba withdrew herself.
- What was Bathsheba’s reply when Oak proposed marriage to her?
As the cow would go dry after a week, Oak was sorry to think that he would be unable to see her anymore. So, he resolved to meet Bathshba at her aunt’s house and propose marriage to her. When Oak reached the place, Bathsheba was absent and her aunt told that Bathsheba had many suitors. Now, Bathsheba arrived and told that- “No, no, I cannot. Do not press me anymore. I don’t love you, and so it would be ridiculous”. Oak then replied, “Then I will ask you no more”.
- How was Oak completely ruined?
Oak had forgotten to chain the younger dog which had chased two hundred sheep which were kept aloof from fifty sheep which gave birth to lambs. When Oak came out, he saw the dog standing on the converging point, on the crags from where 200 sheep lay, dead below in the pit. The dog came to Oak and began to lick his hand as if it had done some heroic deed, Oak was totally ruined. Losing his temper he shot the dog dead. He thanked God as he was yet not married with anyone.
- How was Oak given the post of a shepherd in Bathsheba’s farm?
Oak was searching for a job in vain. One day he saw lustre of fire at a distant spot, which indicated that something was on fire. He ran towards it in an attempt to quench it. He saw some hay stacks mostly burnt. Even, fire had spread to the wheat bushels. He took a ladder and went up the heap of wheat rack in order to save it from devouring fire. He surely showed his endless adventure in doing this. After the fire was controlled, he went to the lady on pony and told- “Do you want a shepherd Madam ?” The lady was Bathsheba who felt too sorry at this bad luck of Oak. However, he was appointed in Bathsheba’s farms.
- Describe J. Poorgrass.
Poorgrass had been very shy since his childhood. Shyness was in the blood of his family. He did not have the courage to look at the face of Bathsheba. He was timid too. Once an owl was hooting in a forest. He thought that someone was asking his name. Under his misunderstanding he told the owl, “I am Joseph Poorgrass of Weatherbury, Sir.” Thus Poorgrass’s timidity and foolishness are exposed.
- What news was brought by Henry Fray?
Henry Fray who had gone out with others returned to Malthouse and broke the news that the bailiff Pennyways was caught red handed while stealing barley from Bathsheba’s barn; and that the maid servant of Bathsheba Fanny Robin had run away with a lover who lived at Casterbridge. These two events created much sensation in the audience.
- Why was Bathsheba interested in Boldwood?
Boldwood came to visit Bathsheba but being badly dressed, she could not meet him. Later, she wanted to know about the man from Liddy. Liddy told that Boldwood was a rich farmer and handsome bachelor. Then Bathsheba felt apologetic that she did not meet him. She was told that Boldwood was quite correct towards women. Many women were willing to accept him as their husband but he was not willing to marry. Bathheba felt more regretted that she did not meet Boldwood.
- Describe Bathsheba’s meeting with her servants.
Bathsheba met her servants in the hall. Sittings in a chair, she talked with them across a table. First, she declared the news of Bill’s dismissal from job and she herself will work as a bailiff. She was anxious about Fanny Robin. She asked all one by one and wanted to know their faithfulness. Loban’s wife answered while Loban kept quiet. Fray told that an assistant should be employed under Oak. Bathsheba easily accepted the suggestion. She asked Oak about his problem but Oak told, in need, he would consult her.
- How did Bathsheba attract the farmers in market?
Dressed most gaudily, Bathsheba used to attend the corn market. Some conservative farmers opposed her presence in fear of loss. But, the young farmers liked her presence because being beautiful and attractive, she would be an object of pleasure in the hours of dullness. Bathsheba was delighted to see that all are looking at her. But, only one man was careless and apathetic towards her. But, this man was surely none but Boldwood who was riding a carriage just close to that of Bathsheba.
- Why did Bathsheba send Valentine card to Boldwood and what was its effect?
On one 13th Feb. Bathsheba was chatting with Liddy. An old copy of Bible was there. Liddy asked her humorously if she knew the man she was going to marry. Liddy knew that Bathsheba hed set her heart on Boldwood. She had bought a card which she hesitated to send to Boldwood. But, Liddy encouraged Bathsheba to send it to the man. Bathsheba agreed to the plan and sent it to Boldwood with the words “Marry me.” Boldwood who was a self-controlled man, in bed and out of bed, thought of the woman who sent this letter to him.
- How did Fanny communicate with Troy?
Troy was a soldier and marriage was not encouraged among soldiers and so they did it in a stealthy manner. Fanny took a handful of snow and threw it towards a window but missed the aim. After a few attempts, she was successful. Troy noisily asked, “Who is there?” Robin asked “Is it Sergeant Troy” Who again asked, “What girl are you?” Now, the lady replied, “O Frank, do not you recognize, I am your wife Fanny Robin.” However, being asked, Troy expressed his inability to come out of the barracks and promised her to meet at Mrs. Twills’ house.
- Introduce Mr. Boldwood.
Boldwood was the owner of the Weatherbury farm. People looked on him as an aristocrat. He owned a large number of horses and animals. He lived all alone in the house as he was a confirmed bachelor. He was a quiet man but behind this apparent calm was the volcanic nature of passionate bachelor. Bathsheba could realise the risk of sending a Valentine letter to such a man.
- Why did Bathsheba feel for Boldwood?
Boldwood met Bathsheba in her farm. Then they went to the sages to avoid others. Boldwood said — “My life is not my own since I have beheld you clearly. I come to make you an offer of marriage”. She courteously refused to love him. But, he wooed and courted her by saying that she encouraged him for doing so by sending the Valentine. Truly Bathsheba felt for Boldwood as his love was passionate and sincere. He pleaded her that after the marriage he would relieve her from farm duties also.
- How did Oak save Bathsheba’s sheeps?
Oak was dismissed offensively by Bathsheba for speaking frankly against Bathsheba. Oak stopped looking after Bathsheba’s flock of sheep. Now, the labourers reported that 70 sheep were going to die for having eaten clover, a kind of poison. Without operation, these could not be saved, which only Oak could perform. Bathsheba asked them to go to Boldwood but in vain. Now, she reluctantly called Gabriel “Please do not desert me” Gabriel was moved. He came with a lance and saved the sheep by operation their stomach.
- Describe the feast after sheep-shearing.
A long table was fixed for sheep-shearing dinner. Bathsheba invited all the servants to the dinner. She took her seat at the head and Oak at the bottom of it. There were songs and merry-making. All sang in their turn. Bathsheba sang an emotional song while Oak played on his flute. Finding chance, Boldwood spoke words of appreciation to Bathsheba. Now, all left the place except these two. Now, again, Boldwood knelt before the lady and offered his proposal but she told that in a week, she will give her decision. Boldwood was happy even with half-promise.
- Introduce Captain Troy.
Captain Troy was a strong character. He had faced many calamities, yet he had remained compulsive and bold. He never cared for past or future. He neither missed anything in life nor enjoyed anything. He was most untruthful to woman. He was neither virtuous nor vicious. His vices were the result of impulsive nature and virtues were the thought of character. He was fairly educated. He was a past master in flattering women.
- How did Bathsheba fall in love with Troy?
Troy enquired if Bathsheba knew French and without waiting for a reply, he told a French proverb which means one who loves well chastens well. Bathsheba forgot what to answer. He told that he loved her. As Bathsheba wanted to know the time, Troy presented his watch to her. But, as Bathsheba would not take it, he took it back like an actor. Bathsheba was so much charmed by his doings that he was on the verge of falling in love with Troy.
- What exercise was done by Troy with Bathsheba?
On the uncultivable hill behind Bathsheba’s house, Troy was performing some blandishment exercise attacking Bathsheba with a sword in such a skilful manner that, it touched all parts of her body but without injuring her in the least. He cut off one hair with the greatest skill. At last, Troy kissed Bathsheba. Bathsheba went on wondering about Troy’s skill but Troy left the place.
- How was Troy killed?
Bathsheba was not sure of Troy’s death but Boldwood was. So, he tried his best to marry her now. Bathsheba was so moved that she promised to marry him after 7 years. But, one night, Troy appeared and entered a hall where a party was being held. Seeing him, Bathsheba was surprised and fell on the ground getting fainted. Boldwood was so outraged that he took a gun from the wall and shot Troy in the chest. Troy had to die without any delay. Boldwood was tried in the court and sentenced to death earlier and later it was changed into life time imprisonment.
- How did Fanny die?
Captain Troy loved Fanny and later deserted her Fanny was pregnant with none to look after her. She was feeble and ill. But, on her way to Casterbridge she died during child-birth. Bathsheba sent a cart to bring the body to her farm. But, seeing this dead body of Fanny, Troy felt a strong sense of remorse and left Bathsheba and Weatherbury farm.
- How are Oak and Bathsheba ultimately a happy couple?
Bathsheba is perfectly disillusioned losing Troy and Boldwood. She is prostrate with grief. She comes to realize that she has erred long before in not accepting faithful Gabriel Oak. When Oak decides to leave her farm for ever after a long thinking, she comes to his cottage and offers herself to him in marriage. The proud, the beautiful Bathsheba at last finds contentment and peace with the man with whom she had love at first sight. It had been her folly to consider him common place and unattractive.