In chapter 12 of Far from the Madding Crowd, from whose point of view is the story told?

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In chapter 12, Bathsheba causes a stir when she arrives at the market in Casterbridge to sell her grain. She is the only woman selling among the men.

Chapter 12, like the rest of the novel, is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator who is able to go back and forth from the men observing Bathsheba, seeing her as, for example, a "woman in full bloom and vigor":

Bathsheba was convinced that this unmoved person was not a married man.

We learn of Bathsheba's point of view, too, near the end of the chapter. Bathsheba reveals her thinking in dialogue with Liddy, saying, for example:

I've been through it, Liddy, and it is over. I shan't mind it again, for they will all have grown accustomed to seeing me there.

But throughout the chapter, it is the omniscient narrator who is in control and setting the scene. He shows us what Bathsheba looks like from afar and how she seems to other people, in a way she could not see herself:

Among these heavy yeomen a feminine figure glided, the single one of her sex that the room contained. She was prettily and even daintily dressed

If the chapter were only told from her point of view, we would not be able to see her from a distance in her dainty dress. We would only see what she saw, which would be the men in the room selling their own produce. Likewise, if the chapter were told only from the point of view of one of the men, we would only know what he was seeing and thinking, not what Bathsheba thinks.

An omniscient narrator quickly sets and normalizes a scene for us and can go back and forth between the perspectives of different characters, establishing what they all see and think.

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