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April 8, 2022


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This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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This course, Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, is designed to tell you something about Hardy's background and to introduce you to the pleasures of reading a nineteenth-century novel. Why do we believe in fictional characters and care about what happens to them? You will discover some of the techniques that Hardy uses to achieve an illusion of real people and their relationships in the real world. Through analyzing narrative you will think about who the narrator is, and the importance of the narrative point of view in telling the story, as well as understanding how characterization, the use of dialogue, time and locations work within the novel.


In this course, Exploring Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, you’ll explore one of the richest, most vivid novels in English, written in 1874. First, you will discover something about Hardy’s life, and the importance of his writing of the region he grew up in, the South-West of England. You will then read one short chapter from Far From the Madding Crowd and find out about how Hardy uses narration, style, and dialogue to create characters and a fictional world that readers can believe in. You will also find out about the important place of religion in Hardy’s work.

Learning Outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Understand the possibilities of third-person narration
  • Recognize the role of dialogue in creating a character
  • Understand how literary techniques combine to create a story.

Course Curriculum

    • Biography and Context 01:00:00
    • Locations 01:00:00
    • Far From the Madding Crowd 01:00:00
    • Reading a chapter from Far From the Madding Crowd 01:40:00
    • Religion 01:00:00
    • Conclusion 00:20:00

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Open University UK