Character Of Fanny Robin In Far From The Madding Crowd

Among the minor characters, the most striking is Fanny Robin. We meet her at Bathsheba’s farm. She has fallen in love with Troy and one night she runs away from Bathsheba’s house. She is a sweet looking, slim young woman with yellow hair, and her voice is exceedingly charming.

Gabriel has very affectionate and compassionate attitude towards Fanny, because he feels that she is the most starved woman both physically and emotionally. Out of pity Oak offers her some money which she accepts very gratefully.

Fanny is the best woman character in the novel: she is simple and innocent, she has kind and passionate nature, as most of the women possess. It is ironic to think that such a woman free from guilt and deceit should fall a victim to the manoeuvres of Troy.

Love reigns the heart of Fanny supreme, she feels the passion of love so much that without caring for social censure, she runs away from the house of Bathsheba to the soldier’s barracks where Troy lives. It is very strange to think that a woman should have so much courage as to run from her place to the residence of her lover in the darkness of the night. But that shows the power of passion in the heart of Fanny.

It is due to his simplicity that she is unable to imagine the tricks and guiles of Troy. She forgets everything and plunges headlong into all consuming love. While Troy is most treacherous towards Fanny, she is most sincere towards him. Without understanding that Troy wants to enjoy her beauty and youth, she completely surrenders herself to him: she is a poor judge of human nature; she does not know how to distinguish between a villain and a good man.

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While going for marriage with Troy, Fanny reaches the wrong church, she does not lose temper. Still she keeps on showing regard and love to Troy. How innocently she says, “But after all, the mistake was not such a terrible thing. Now, dear Frank, when shall it be” and the marriage is never celebrated.

The most pathetic part of Fanny Robin’s life is her journey to Casterbridge Union House. She has taken the long journey without knowing that her delicate body cannot bear it. Fanny gets tired in the way, yet under the passion of love she struggles on with the crutches of trees that she plucks from the forest. By the time she reaches Casterbridge she is half-dead. Out of sheer exhaustion, and weakness she falls on the road. And then mysterious phenomenon occurs. She catches the ears of a big dog and it drags her to the door of Casterbridge House, where she dies after a few hours and thus Fanny’s love for Troy comes to an end.

Some critics have exalted the character of Fanny, by holding that Fanny is superior to Bathsheba, because she could get the fruit of love by begetting a girl. But they forget that Fanny remains unmarried, and her girl is an illegitimate child.

Fanny has many qualities of head and heart, and yet she cannot be the heroine of Far From the Madding Crowd.



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