Thomas Hardy’s celebrated novel Far from the Madding Crowd is certainly one of the most liked and widely read romance novel of all time. However, the romance in Far from the Madding Crowd is not the same as we find in the modern or contemporary novels which focus more on the sensuous part of love rather than the sentimental part of it. Thomas Hardy’s creation is an evergreen romance which is certainly an embodiment of a true love – even one-sided, which is continuous in a character who is very popular among the lots of sincere lovers – Gabriel Oak.
Nevertheless, Far from the Madding Crowd is also known for the strong and a convincing, but certainly with her faultlines, Bathsheba Everdene. She is also very popular among the feminists’ lots who love her character just because she makes bold and courageous decisions and she enjoys her liberty in her sexual and relationship preferences.
On the story front, Far from the Madding Crowd is a novel which gives the readers solace and textual calm, at times and most often. Thomas Hardy was a novelist who enjoyed writing about the world around him as much as he enjoyed writing about the world inside his characters. He described the external beauty of the world, the greenery and the Wessex; he equally enjoyed writing about the internal beauty of his characters and their follies as well.
For a pessimist that Hardy was, in his concerned novel, he did not let the characters decide their life’s important events. He gave everything into the hands of fate and only fate could decide what happens with the characters in the days to come. Boldwood paves the way for the union of Bathsheba and Oak because he kills Troy in the novel. It is not, perhaps, the love that decides Bathsheba’s need for Oak; Bathsheba goes to Oak because she knows it was only he who loved her the most and not anyone else.
So, a persuasive and complete romance it is, but certainly with some limitations and faults or we may say, our own reservations don’t allow us to agree with all the conditions that Hardy proposes to the readers. The novel stands as a classic romantic fiction but it might fail to impress the modern readers because they seldom indulge themselves in such lengthy ones these days and the novel is rather slow as well.