ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Farm Woman's Ways: Far From The Madding Crowd

Updated on May 30, 2015

Farms were always a part of the life of Bathsheba Everdene. She grew up on her parents' farm in Dorset, then, as a young woman, lived on her aunt's farm to help her. While men were not at the forefront of her mind, three different men take an interest in Bathsheba during the Victorian Era in Far From The Madding Crowd. The interest in Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan) begins while with her aunt. The neighbor farmer, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), tries to woo her with the gift of a lamb. While she accepts the lamb, she does not want to develop the relationship with him. He has taken out a loan on his farm in the hopes of raising sheep, but a sheepdog's actions spell doom for the sheep, and for Gabriel's chances of repaying the loan. He heads to another village in search of employment. Meanwhile, Bathsheba inherits her parents' estate in the very same village. When Bathsheba fires one of the old staff over his inaction following a fire, she hires Gabriel. She also starts to take an interest in William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), an older farmer who never married because he'd been jilted as a young man. The interest in Boldwood, though, seems to be greater with the man, in the same sort of way Bathsheba feels for Gabriel.

The man who does win Bathsheba's heart, though, is Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge), a sergeant in the British Army who had planned to marry Fanny Robin (Juno Temple). Fanny, however, went to the wrong church, and later found that her beloved had left, believing he'd been jilted. The story led to a fast courtship and marriage. Bathsheba soon learns that her husband not only feels he controls a farm while knowing nothing of the daily operations, he drinks and gambles away much of the money. After a falling out that includes tending to arrangements to bury Fanny, who once worked at the farm but died homeless, Francis leaves for the shore. He goes for a swim, but doesn't return and is presumed dead. Boldwood settles the farm's debts and would like to merge their estates through marriage. Gabriel, who'd already left once but was persuaded to returm by Bathsheba, plans to make a permanent exit by immigrating to America. A Christmas party at the Boldwood estate, though, brings an unexpected change for these people.

Far From The Madding Crowd, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, is an interesting look at men and women, and the way they share feelings. While the main characters clearly live away from a big city, viewers could say they make a madding crowd all by themselves. If she ever weds, Bathsheba clearly wants a man who respects her as an individual, which Gabriel and William do. However, she takes a man who wants nothing to do with satisfying that need of hers. At their wedding, Francis stays up with the other hands and has a good time long after the guests have gone, and she wants to go to bed. Yet, viewers should sympathize with Bathsheba. She gets touched by the story of Francis more than by the decency of both Gabriel and William. She's a romantic who wants a perfect love that doesn't exist. The pace created by director Thomas Vinterberberg sometimes runs a bit slow, but captures a time where expectations of men and women tended to be different. The screenplay for David Nicholls suggests that differences should not stand in the way of feelings.

The key performances are all strong, especially Mulligan. Her Bathsheba made me feel irritated by the way she treated Gabriel and William. Yet, she also shows how women were treated differently. In the scene where she and another farm hand go to market to sell their grain, she finds men want to pay less for her grain simply because she's a woman. She has to work hard to get a price close to what she asks. Schoeraerts shows a man of patience and great ability as Gabriel who wants a decent chance to prove himself in any way. Gabriel, in fact, could be accused of being too patient with Bathsheba, but I doubt he'd be any other way. Sheen is fine as the wealthy Mr. Boldwood, a man with a longing to share his life with someone else, and knows that wish comes with no guarantee. Sturridge is good as the sergeant who charms, then takes control once he gets what he wants. Temple is also good in a small role as Fanny, a woman who takes the shame over her misunderstanding to her end.

Most people have a wish to share their lives with others who care for and support them. The people in Far From The Madding Crowd long for that, even when their actions belie their feelings. The film also speaks to the need of women to be treated in the same way as men when certain issues are involved. Bathsheba Everdene finds it hard to find the right balance between proving herself in farming and sharing her life with a man who truly cares. Even in a scenic part of rural England, she learns that she still draws a crowd for devotion and affection.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Far From The Madding Crowd three stars. The things we do with love.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)