Character Analysis Of Bathsheba Everdene

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The pieces of Bathsheba Everdene’s character do not fit together nearly so seamlessly as Elizabeth’s do, because she is created by a male author. Hardy counteracts Bathsheba’s independence and fiery disposition by giving her submissive romantic preferences. Hardy’s attempt to create a strong female character by allowing Bathsheba to take charge of her fate seems to be overpowered by his fantasies about women’s sexualities. While Bathsheba is dominant with her employees, she is timid and submissive with men she is attracted to. Not only is she submissive, but Hardy creates her to want to be that way. He takes a societal expectation and a personal fantasy and writes it into his supposedly revolutionary character’s mind. While people are complex beings, and a strong independent woman with submissive romantic behavior is not out of the realm of possibility, it contradicts other statements Hardy makes about her character. Hardy shows that “From the very outset, Bathsheba reveals her ambivalence about becoming, like most women, a visual and sexual possession; she wishes to live by her own rules and to take charge of her life” (Wittenberg 137). In the same scene in which Bathsheba asserts her dislike of marriage due to her liking for independence, she tells Oak, her first suitor, that she wants a man to “tame” her (Hardy 26). The most likely reason for Hardy’s inconsistencies in Bathsheba’s characterization is simply that he was a man attempting to write a female character in a

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