Complications — The intrusion of Serjeant Troy

19 January 2010

Complications – The Intrusion of Serjeant Troy


Revision of Chapters 1 – 24 Who did what? STARTER ACTIVITY


  1. Caused a stir in the Casterbridge Corn Exchange and set the farmers’ pulses racing.
  2. Lost his sheep, became a tramp and then got a job as a shepherd.
  3. Missed a wedding because of going to the wrong church.
  4. Received a Valentine.
  5. Persuaded her mistress to send a Valentine to a very respectable man.
  6. Got caught stealing grain from Weatherbury Farm and got the sack.
  7. Took over as a bailiff – or manager of Weatherbury Farm.
  8. Ate some clover and got terrible gas in the stomach.
  9. Nearly destroyed all the hay ricks on Weatherbury Farm.




Learning Objective: to learn about how Hardy presents the themes of sexual temptation, flirtation and danger. To learn about his literary techniques in creating suspense.


  1. What is flirtation? What kinds of flirtation do you think actually work? Write out some successful chat-up lines, explain why they are successful.
  2. What do you think of these lines. Are they successful flirtation? What do they tell us about the speaker, do you think?



  1. EXTENSION WORK: The giving of the watch. How does Hardy create tension and drama in the following passage?

The sergeant looked at his watch and told her. ‘What, haven’t you a watch, miss?’ he inquired.’ I have not just at present – I am about to get a new one.’

‘No. You shall be given one. Yes – you shall. A gift, Miss Everdene – a gift.’

And before she knew what the young man was intending, a heavy gold watch was in her hand.

‘It is an unusually good one for a man like me to possess,’ he quietly said. ‘That watch has a history. Press the spring and open the back.’

She did so. ‘What do you see?’ ‘A crest and a motto.’

‘A coronet with five points, and beneath, Cedit amor rebus – “Love yields to circumstance.” It’s the motto of the Earls of Severn. That watch belonged to the last lord, and was given to my mother’s husband, a medical man, for his use till I came of age, when it was to be given to me. It was all the fortune that ever I inherited. That watch has regulated imperial interests in its time – the stately ceremonial, the courtly assignation, pompous travels, and lordly sleeps. Now it is yours.’

‘But, Sergeant Troy, I cannot take this – I cannot!’ she exclaimed, with round-eyed wonder. ‘A gold watch! What are you doing? Don’t be such a dissembler!’


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