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Bathsheba asks Liddy if the people of the village have reported anything strange about Fanny. Liddy tells her mistress that the coffin contains not only the dead body of Fanny but also that of her child. Bathsheba goes to confront Troy about Fanny, but she does not have the courage to ask him about her. Instead, she decides to open the coffin to discover the truth. When she actually opens it, she finds there the dead bodies of Fanny and her child. Bathsheba is totally shaken. Soon after, Troy enters the house and is stunned to see the dead bodies in the coffin, which Bathsheba has left open. He admits that Fanny is the woman he had wanted to marry and kisses the dead woman gently. Bathsheba asks him to kiss her too, and Troy refuses. He tells her that the dead Fanny is dearer to him than Bathsheba can ever be. Bathsheba bursts into tears. She asks Troy that if Fanny is his wife, what is her position to him. Troy tells her that she is nothing to him. On hearing this, Bathsheba runs out the door.
This chapter reveals that perhaps Troy had deep feelings for Fanny after all; at least he is truly sad over her loss. The sight of her dead body makes him reveal the truth about her. He does so cruelly and hurts Bathsheba deeply. Troy's tenderness toward the body of Fanny contrasts to his brutal insensitivity to Bathsheba when she is denied a kiss and when he says she means nothing to him. His self- pity and self-deception prevent him from understanding the agony she is going through. He falsely accuses her of duping him. He would like to believe that, but for Bathsheba's flirting, he would have performed his duty and married Fanny.
Troy's cruel treatment of Bathsheba, his postponement of immediate aid to Fanny, and his refusal to marry her earlier are unpardonable acts of truth that Troy cannot face. Boldwood's curse has touched Troy now; he is miserable. Troy's fatal flaw seems to be that he is always late either to understand or to help. He is also filled with self-deception.