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We are informed in the first chapter that Farmer Oak is a young man of "sound judgment, easy motions, proper dress, and general good character." We are also told, however, that Gabriel Oak is rather lukewarm regarding religion: "that is, he went to church, but yawned privately by the time the congregation reached the Nicene creed . . ."
Bathsheba is first presented from Oak's point of view when he sees her sitting in a wagon. Although she is "young and attractive," she is also vain. Gabriel notices her "surveying herself" and smiling into a "small swing looking-glass" that she carries with her.
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