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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
In his novels, Hardy firmly establishes the imaginative world of Wessex as the setting for the drama of his main characters. Far from the Madding Crowd is set against the landscape around Norcombe Hill and the village of Weatherbury. The pastoral setting of the novel is emphasized by such rustic occupations as sheep washing, sheep shearing, and the buying and selling of sheep at the Annual Fair at Greenhill. References are also made to farming, harvesting, haymaking, and the transactions at Casterbridge market.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Bathsheba Everdene - the heroine of the novel who is extremely susceptible to flattery and jealousy. She has a deeply emotional nature and a highly romantic temperament. She is also endowed with self-confidence, efficiency, a sympathetic nature, dignity, and maidenly purity. and candor.
Gabriel Oak - the hero of the novel and the bailiff of Bathsheba. His striking qualities are his devotion and loyalty to Bathsheba, his sense of duty, his simplicity and straight-forwardness, his capacity for endurance, his self-respect, kindness and sympathy and above all his modesty, humility, and his sense of humor.
Sergeant Troy - a dissembler, a philanderer and a flatterer who lives in the present. He is a selfish man with social charm and a sinner who is incapable of remorse. He hides his love affair with Fanny and marries Bathsheba.
Fanny Robin - an innocent woman noted for purity and concentration in love, used by the philanderer Troy.
Joseph Poorgrass, - a self-conscious, modest, bashful but humorous rustic and a carter on Bathsheba's farm. He has a taste for strong drink.
Jan Coggan - a respectable, young rustic who can narrate interesting anecdotes with a sense of humor. He is middle-aged, twice married, and a master shearer.
Henery Fray - an amusing rustic character. He is a farm hand who aspires to be Bathsheba's bailiff.
The old maltster - another amusing rustic character. Cain Ball - under-shepherd to Gabriel Oak
Matthew Moon - another general farm hand
Laban Tall - a young farm hand, henpecked by his older wife. He later becomes the clerk of the parish.
Mrs. Hurst - Bathsheba's aunt
Liddy Smallbury - Bathsheba's maid
Jacob Smallbury - Bathsheba's farmhand
Bill Smallbury - Bathsheba's farmhand
Maryann Money - Bathsheba's chairwoman
Mrs. Coggan - a maid employed by Bathsheba.