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Far from the Madding Crowd
Summary & Analysis
Chapters 1 to 4
Chapters 5 to 8
Chapters 9 to 15
Chapters 16 to 23
Chapters 24 to 30
Chapters 31 to 34
Chapters 35 to 38
Chapters 39 to 42
Chapters 43 to 48
Chapters 49 to 51
Chapters 52 to 57
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1. What, according to Gabriel Oak, is Bathsheba Everdene's fault in the first chapter?
2. Why does Bathsheba take Gabriel Oak back after she fires him?
After he rides away, she realizes she loves him.
She remembers that he helped her with the fire and decides she has been ungrateful.
Her sheep eat clover, which causes their stomachs to expand dangerously, and he is the only one who knows how to save them; she realizes she cannot do without him.
Boldwood persuades her that she has been a fool to let him go, and a few days later she decides to take Gabriel back.
3. How does Gabriel Oak lose his farm?
His sheep eat young clover and die from it.
He gambles away his money on horseracing and cannot pay his creditors.
He loses his harvest in a huge storm.
His younger dog chases all the ewes off a precipice, thinking he is dutifully herding them.
4. How do Bathsheba Everdene and Sergeant Troy first meet?
They meet at the market-day in Casterbridge.
They pass each other in the dark, in the fir grove, and his spur gets caught on her skirt.
She sees him at a fair and has Gabriel Oak introduce them.
Troy comes to work at the farm during his leave from the army.
5. What inspires Boldwood to fall in love with Bathsheba Everdene?
He admires her from afar and then decides to call on her, bringing a housewarming gift to his new neighbor.
He sees her at the corn market and contrives to buy corn from her.
He is an old friend of her uncle's, who has urged Boldwood to marry his niece since Bathsheba was a girl.
On a whim she sends him a valentine, with a seal that says, "Marry me."
6. Who recognizes the disguised Sergeant Troy at the fair?
Joseph Poorgrass, who drives Bathsheba to the fair
The former bailiff, Pennyways
7. How is Boldwood punished for killing Sergeant Troy?
He is first sentenced to death and then pardoned at the last minute and imprisoned instead.
He is hanged.
He is drawn and quartered.
He goes unpunished by the law but is wracked with guilt.
8. How does Bathsheba Everdene learn that Fanny Robin has had a baby?
Troy tells Bathsheba after Fanny has died.
Gabriel writes Bathsheba a letter explaining that Fanny and Troy nearly married and that Fanny died in childbirth.
Her servant Liddy tells her the rumor, and Bathsheba opens Fanny's coffin, which is waiting to be buried, to see if the rumor is true; both mother and baby are inside.
The orphaned child writes to Bathsheba many years later, asking her for help.
9. How does Gabriel Oak end up working on Bathsheba Everdene's farm?
He comes to Weatherbury and, noticing that the ricks are on fire, stops the fire; she gratefully offers him a job.
Pennyways, the bailiff, offers him a job at an employment fair.
He starts working for Boldwood, and Bathsheba tempts him away.
He answers an ad in the newspaper requesting applications for the post of shepherd.
10. What happens to the flowers Sergeant Troy plants on Fanny Robin's grave?
In a fit of jealousy, Bathsheba tears them up from the earth.
Boldwood sees them and forgives Troy for his irresponsibility.
Rain comes, and the water flows from the spouted mouth of a gargoyle onto the bed of flowers, so that they are washed away, and the gravestone is splattered with mud.
Troy returns weekly to water them, and they flourish for years.
11. What is strange about Gabriel Oak's watch?
Queen Victoria gave it to him.
It keeps falling out of his pocket.
The hour hand is loose, so it does not tell time properly.
It is made of solid gold.
12. How does Boldwood learn that Bathsheba Everdene has married Sergeant Troy?
He sees the wedding procession passing on the road.
He overhears his servants discussing Bathsheba's new husband.
Sergeant Troy brings him to the farm and hands him the newspaper notice announcing the wedding.
Bathsheba visits him on her horse and shows him her wedding ring.
13. Who helps Gabriel Oak to protect the ricks during the storm?
14. Where are the other laborers during the storm?
Sergeant Troy has made them drink brandy and water with him, and they have all passed out in the barn.
They are home asleep in their beds.
They have gone to Bath for the fair.
They are all tending to the sheep.
15. At the end of the book, the discovery of what information leads everyone to think that Boldwood is mentally unstable?
Boldwood's sister has been hospitalized from birth for madness.
Boldwood has been heard talking to himself by his servants.
He has bought a closet of woman's clothes and marked them all "Bathsheba Boldwood," long before Bathsheba has promised to marry him.
He wanders around his farm moaning for months on end after Bathsheba marries Troy.
16. How does Bathsheba learn that Troy has had an earlier lover?
She is sent an anonymous letter warning her of Troy's past.
Gabriel tells Bathsheba that Troy was Fanny's lover.
She finds a pack of old love letters among his things.
She sees a lock of yellow hair in his watch.
17. Who sees Fanny Robin on the night she runs away from the farm and gives her a shilling?
18. Why does Boldwood have a party at Christmas?
He wants to celebrate his recent success in farming.
He wants to welcome Sergeant Troy back to Weatherbury.
He has asked Bathsheba to promise to marry him on that day.
Gabriel asks him to have it.
19. How does Gabriel Oak tell time when his watch is broken?
There is a sundial outside his hut.
He listens for the bells of the church.
He judges the time from the position of the stars and peers into people's windows to see their clocks.
He calls at the farmhouse to consult Bathsheba's clock.
20. How does Bathsheba Everdene save Gabriel Oak's life at the beginning of the novel?
She shoots his rabid dog.
She warns him when an escaped bull is about to charge him.
She takes him in when he is starving and nearly frozen one night, and she nurses him back to health.
He falls asleep in his shepherd's hut with the fire burning and both windows closed, and she finds him there before he suffocates.
21. Who comes and helps Fanny Robin make it to Casterbridge?
A large black dog
22. What stops Fanny's funeral from happening on the day it is planned?
No one can locate the parson.
The villagers have trouble identifying the body.
Bathsheba wants to wait to bury Fanny until Troy has returned.
Joseph Poorgrass, who is supposed to bring the coffin to the farm, stops off for a few drinks.
23. Who reports that Bathsheba and Sergeant Troy have been seen together in Bath?
24. How does Sergeant Troy convince Bathsheba to marry him?
He tells her she is the most beautiful woman in the world.
He ruins her reputation, and she has no choice.
He gives her the largest diamond she has ever seen.
He tells her he has seen a woman more beautiful than she is and makes her jealous.
25. How does Gabriel Oak try to hide from Bathsheba the fact that Fanny Robin has had a baby?
He tells Liddy to lie to Bathsheba.
He refuses to introduce Bathsheba to Fanny.
He rubs off the words "and child" written in chalk on the coffin, which reads "Fanny Robin and child."
He explains that she died of the small pox, thus, erasing Bathsheba's suspicion that she might have died in childbirth.
26. How does Boldwood know that Bathsheba Everdene is the one who has sent him the valentine?
He watched her write it through the window.
He asks the boy who delivers it where it came from.
He asks Gabriel Oak whose handwriting it is written in.
He smells her perfume on the envelope and recognizes it.
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