Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Early the next morning, Gabriel and Coggan are reaching the fields when Gabriel thinks he sees something at an upper window of the farm. Sergeant Troy is looking leisurely out the window: Coggan exclaims that Bathsheba has married him. Gabriel looks at the ground, amazed all the same that it’s been done so secretly. Troy sees them and cheerily calls to them. At first Gabriel doesn’t reply, but after Coggan’s prodding he wishes him good morning. Troy says he feels like new wine in an old bottle: he wants to spruce up the place, though Gabriel thinks that would be a pity. Troy says he’ll join them at the fields soon, but for now he throws them a half-crown to drink to his own health. Gabriel turns away angrily, but Coggan takes it.
Like Boldwood, Gabriel is resentful and angry at Troy’s cavalier, triumphant attitude at having married Bathsheba and ensured a comfortable existence for himself, but he manages to control his own temper better than Boldwood was able to. Meanwhile, Troy’s insistence on modern methods of farming is portrayed as an unwelcome intrusion of town into country life, where little has changed for hundreds of years—even if to a certain extent this intrusion would turn out to be historically inevitable.
Themes
Epic Allusion, Tragedy, and Illusions of Grandeur Theme Icon
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon
Coggan tells Gabriel that it’s better for him to be outwardly friendly to their new master. They nod at Boldwood, who is passing by, his face colorless: Gabriel notices his despair, which matches his own.
Coggan reminds Gabriel of the need to be strategic and to compromise, something Gabriel understands but risks forgetting in his anger.
Themes
Conflict and the Laws of Nature Theme Icon