Most of the critical works on Hardy's 'Far from the Madding Crowd' do not discuss the significance of the title in a
sustained manner. After mentioning that the title is borrowed from Gray's 'Elegy Written
in a Country Churchyard
' which describes the 'cool, sequestered' life of rural folks, they go on to point out that the title is used in an ironic way since this seemingly ideal rural world is also marked by chaos, disorders, conflicts and deaths. Though this is certainly true to some extent, I feel that Hardy also intended the title to be a
commentary on the generally peaceful agricultural life of the villagers. Certain statements like 'God was palpably present in the country
, and the devil had gone with the world to town' reveal that in spite of the fact that the author does not present the rural life as Utopian, he definitely privileges it above the hustle and bustle of urban life. Moreover?" and this is a
point which seems to have been ignored by most critics?"I think that the title does not refer only to the setting. The title describes a
mode of life?"a
pastoral life, though a
modified pastoral to be sure?"which is used as a
moral trope in assessing the major characters in the novel.Those like Gabriel Oak and to a
certain extent, Bathsheba Everdene who adhere to the simple, unsophisticated way of life prove to be of greater worth than those like Troy and to to a
certain extent, Boldwood who fail to maintain this balance and succumb to their unruly passions associated by the writer with town life.
Thus, the paper should first discuss the appropriateness of the title in about three paragraphs (at least) on the lines mentioned above. The next two paragraphs can then concentrate on the irony implicit in the title. The paper could then conclude by discussing the ambivalence regarding the title. On the whole, the paper should emphasize more upon the appropriateness of the title rather than the irony surrounding it. It would be preferable if the paper is written
throughout in lucid language.
Thank you very much. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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