Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Troy's character sketch is given in this chapter. The impulsive Troy believes in the enjoyment of the moment, never caring for the past and never worrying about the future. He does not nurse any specific hope and, therefore, is never disappointed. He is fairly honest to men, but with women he lies freely. (Remember his treatment of Fanny Robin.) Troy has never done a noble deed. He appears active only because he acts in the heat of the moment. Once the heat cools, his plans and actions also cool down. He has a quick understanding and a strong character, but no strength of will. He is well educated for a soldier and makes flattering speeches, especially to women. He never considers the effect of those flattering words.
A week or two after the shearing, Bathsheba, relieved at Boldwood's absence, goes to the fields to watch the haymakers. In one part of the field where the hay is being loaded, Bathsheba notices that Troy is working along with others. He appears to her like a gallant knight, offering his service to his woman. Troy notices her as she comes into the field. Leaving his pitchfork on the ground, he walks towards Bathsheba. She is half-angry with embarrassment and walks with her eyes fixed firmly on the direct line of her path.
The description of the handsome Sergeant Troy is the complete opposite of the description of Gabriel Oak. Troy cannot be depended upon; he is impulsive and impressed with himself. His goodness is a mask put on when the occasion suits him. He is more like Bathsheba in the thoughtless deeds that he commits. Like her, he never weighs the consequences of his actions, as proven in his relationship and subsequent treatment of Fanny. Even in the incident at the hayfield, Troy's dishonesty is very evident. He is helping the workers only to impress Bathsheba. Troy is not what he seems to be, as Gabriel quickly recognizes. Ironically, Bathsheba meets her match in Sergeant Troy.