Far From the Madding Crowd

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Henry (Henery) Fray Character Analysis

Another farm-hand, slightly over middle age, who insists on spelling his name “Henery.” He is another one of the regulars at Warren’s Malt-house, and is more critical than the others: he rages about Bailiff Pennyways, for instance, and is among the more skeptical about Bathsheba’s capacity as a woman farmer.

Henry (Henery) Fray Quotes in Far From the Madding Crowd

The Far From the Madding Crowd quotes below are all either spoken by Henry (Henery) Fray or refer to Henry (Henery) Fray. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Far From the Madding Crowd published in 2003.
Chapter 15 Quotes

“Our mis’ess will bring us all to the bad,” said Henery. “Ye may depend on that—with her new farming ways. And her ignorance is terrible to hear. Why only yesterday she cut a rasher of bacon the longways of the flitch!”
“Ho-ho-ho!” said the assembly, the maltster’s feeble note being heard amid the rest as that of a different instrument: “heu-heu-heu!”

Related Characters: Henry (Henery) Fray (speaker), Bathsheba Everdene, The maltster
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

As is often the case, the farm hands gather at Warren’s Malt-house in order to discuss the local gossip and affairs of the village. Here they’re talking about their new mistress, Bathsheba, who has recently taken over from her uncle. While a number of the farm hands already respect and admire her, Henery Fray is far more skeptical—and indeed, his proclamations come to sway the others, at least temporarily. Henery’s criticisms take shape in two ways. First, he suggests that Bathsheba is going to meddle with how things have always been done, by introducing her “new farming ways.” Weatherbury, unlike a city like Bath or London, is described in the novel as largely unchanging through the years, even if it is beginning to be affected by industrialization. As a newcomer, even if she doesn’t do anything to suggest the idea of total transformation, Bathsheba is naturally looked upon with suspicion by those who see any change as too much.

Secondly, Henery criticizes Bathsheba’s “ignorance” regarding farming in general. His example proves wildly funny to the others, including the maltster, although the reference to her misuse of a rasher is so specific that this shared humor may well be absent for the non-specialist reader. Indeed, the arcane nature of the charge is meant, in itself, to provoke a comic response and to undermine the credibility of the men’s criticism. At the same time, Henery is skeptical of the very possibility of a woman being a mistress of a farmer: he resents Bathsheba’s authority over him and the others, and some of his criticisms undoubtedly stem from that prejudice.

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Henry (Henery) Fray Character Timeline in Far From the Madding Crowd

The timeline below shows where the character Henry (Henery) Fray appears in Far From the Madding Crowd. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
...a clean cup. Mark Clark approves of this. Jan Coggan gives an older man, Henry Fray, some of his own cup to drink. Henry always signs his name “Henery,” insisting that... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
...was a fickle husband, Coggan chimes in, whose will to be good wasn’t strong enough. Henery Fray remarks that Bathsheba was never that pretty then, and Coggan remarks he hopes her... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Henery begins to complain about Bailiff Pennyway’s thieving ways, but Gabriel interrupts to remark that the... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Class Status and Mobility Theme Icon
Henery cries to Gabriel that he’s sure he saw him fluting at Casterbridge: Gabriel blushes and... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Laban Tall is the first to leave, followed by Henery Fray. Gabriel leaves with Coggan, who’s offered him lodging. Then Henery returns, out of breath,... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
As Henery rests, Laban Tall returns, remarking at more news: Fanny Robbin (Miss Everdene’s youngest servant) can’t... (full context)
Chapter 10
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
...plus ten shillings as she’s a newcomer. But she blushes at her own generosity, and Henery Fray lifts his eyebrows. Next is Matthew Moon, and then Andrew Candle (a new man),... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
Henery Fray says the shepherd will need someone under him: Cain Ball is a good pick.... (full context)
Chapter 15
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Inside the malthouse, the maltster is eating breakfast, undeterred by his lack of teeth. Henery Fray advances to the fire, while Matthew Moon, Poorgrass, and the other farmhands arrive from... (full context)
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Pride and Penance Theme Icon
Class Status and Mobility Theme Icon
After a pause, Henery wonders what Bathsheba wants with a new piano—it seems her uncle’s things weren’t good enough... (full context)
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
...lambs now, revived by the fire, begin to bleat again, and Gabriel gives them milk. Henery says that before, if a lamb died before marking, the skin would belong to the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
...still sheep-shearing season: the landscape is green and full of ferns and blooming plants. Coggan, Fray, Laban Tall, Poorgrass, Cain, and Gabriel are all in the Shearing Barn. Like a church... (full context)
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
Women in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Temperance Miller, Coggan, and Laban Tall conclude that this means marriage. Henery Fray says that such a bold lady with her own home has no need for... (full context)