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Far from the Madding Crowd | Study Guide

Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Far from the Madding Crowd is told by a third-person omniscient narrator, which provides readers with a wide range of character perspectives. In general, each chapter focuses on the point of view of one character. However, Chapter 52 covers several perspectives that are broken up by numbered subsections.


Far from the Madding Crowd is narrated in the past tense.

About the Title

The title Far from the Madding Crowd comes from a poem, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1750) by English poet Thomas Gray. The specific lines that Hardy references are "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife / Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; / Along the cool sequester'd vale of life / They kept the noiseless tenor of their way." The "madding crowd" is a frenzied group, understood to be the city and its inhabitants. In contrast, this novel takes place in the "cool sequestered vale of life"—the country.


This study guide and infographic for Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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