Thomas Hardy has aimed to make a sub plot which is based on the main characters surrounding Fanny Robin and the events she causes, Fanny is actually a minor character in the novel but the question “What is the significance of the character, Fanny Robin in the novel Far From the Madding Crowd? ” is asking how important Fanny Robin is in the novel and why she is in the novel.
Also I believe that Hardy has put the character Fanny Robin in the novel to cause tension and irony between the main characters and Fanny Robin, Hardy uses this novel to make a form of entertainment as well as sending a message about the way 19th century men treat working class women. More to the point is for me to describe the significance of Fanny Robin. I can see that from Fanny’s surname that hardy wanted to create connotations to her surname and this was just the simplicity of her character.
Robin gives an idea of an animal that is small, fragile and beautiful but is also vulnerable and timid. I can see that this tends to be true from when the novel is read further. Fanny Robin’s first role in the novel is to let Hardy create a feeling of suspense and tension for the reader in some sections of the plot. She is first shown as a “1vulnerable little shape” this is when she appeals to Troy in an attempt to beg him to keep his promise to marry her and reflects of the description which makes her become powerless to the relationship.
Further on in the story line it illustrates Robin’s nature. When Troy fails to keep his promise to marry her Fanny becomes upset and this is leading her to death because she is not strong enough in body and not in mind as well. Although when looking at which of Fanny’s characteristics are significant it becomes most important to see that Hardy’s aim in this situation, is to form a part of the answer to the question of why Hardy introduced Robin. Fanny Robin is a character who directly contrasts with Bathsheba.
Fanny Robin is blond and timid whereas Bathsheba is dark and lively. The reason for Hardy choosing this contrast is firstly to highlight the characteristics and changes in one of the main characters, Bathsheba. Robin’s death in particular shows the reader how Bathsheba has changed throughout the novel. When she learns of Fanny’s death, she seems genuinely upset and does not seem to be relieved that her rival is dead. We can see that she has matured a lot and is less hasty and calmer than she was when she was first introduced into the novel.
This is shown in the respectful and caring way she treats Fanny after her death contrasting again to the way she is first introduced to us, at the beginning she is vainly observing herself in the mirror although “2there was no necessity whatever for her looking in the glass. She did not adjust her hat, or pat her hair, or press a dimple into shape, or do one thing to signify that any such intention had been her motive in taking up the glass.
” However, we can see she has changed near the end as she tells a farm worker to “3get the new spring wagon with the blue body and red wheels, and wash it very clean. She also tells him to “4Carry with you some evergreens and flowers to put upon her coffin – indeed a great many. ” Fanny is one of two main female characters in the novel and the way that both she and Bathsheba are presented throughout the novel reflect societies views on women and the way women were perceived at the time that ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ was written in 1874.
They are used by Hardy to present two very different kinds of women in two very dramatic situations and the ways in which the community react towards them. Yet when a closer inspection of Hardy’s intentions behind the novel is added to the question, it becomes clear that the significance of the character, Fanny Robin is more complex. In the novel, Hardy seeks to show how upper class men treat working class women. Robin is of course, a working class servant. Her very company with Troy allows the reader an insight into what he believes is class exploitation.
By comparing and contrasting two key scenes there is an illustration of this point. When Troy meets with Robin he treats her differently than when he meets with Bathsheba, leaving the reader to imagine that the reason behind this difference in attitude lies in the character’s respective class origin. The evidence of this point comes from the language Hardy chooses for Troy in each instance. When Troy first meets Robin, he calls her “foolish” and states “you.