Under the Greenwood Tree Characters

Thomas Hardy

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Richard (Dick) Dewy

Richard (Dick) Dewy, a young carter with musical inclinations and talent. One Christmas season when he goes caroling with the church choir, for whom he plays accompaniment on his violin, he falls under the spell of Fancy Day, the new schoolmistress in the parish. When his companions look for him after he disappears from the group, they find him under the girl’s window, already in love. Dick Dewy begins courting Fancy at the Christmas party held in his parents’ home, but he soon finds he has a rival for her hand. Although she favors his courtship and reciprocates his affection, his hopes are somewhat dashed for a time by her father’s refusal to consent to a marriage. The father claims that his daughter is too well-educated for the young carter. The girl herself overcomes her father’s objections and wins his consent. A little more than a year after he sees her for the first time, Dick Dewy weds Fancy Day beneath a great tree near her father’s home.

Fancy Day

Fancy Day, the young schoolmistress at Mellstock, a pretty young woman well educated as a teacher and a musician. Her beauty and talent immediately attract admirers, including Dick Dewy, who later becomes her husband. Fancy is a pleasant young woman, almost guileless, whose only fault, if it is that, is the pleasure she takes in her appearance and her clothes. Her obvious concern about her appearance twice creates courtship problems, for Dick Dewy resents her love of apparel. Once Fancy is tempted into jilting her fiancé. This temptation occurs when the local vicar, Mr. Maybold, appears suddenly at the schoolhouse and proposes marriage. Fancy, taken by the idea of marrying higher than her station, says yes. The next day, upon consideration, she writes to the vicar and withdraws her...

(The entire section is 744 words.)