Oak suddenly remembered that eight months before this time he had been fighting against fire in the same spot as desperately as he was fighting against water now—and for a futile love of the same woman.
Troy, in his prostration at this time, had no perception that in the futility of these romantic doings, dictated by a remorseful reaction from previous indifference, there was any element of absurdity.
But Bathsheba, though she could feel, was not much given to futile dreaming, and her musings under this head were short and entirely confined to the times when Troy’s neglect was more than ordinarily evident.
She hated questioning Liddy about her husband’s movements, and indeed had hitherto sedulously avoided doing so; but now all the house knew that there had been some dreadful disagreement between them, and it was futile to attempt disguise.
There are no more uses of "futile" in the book.
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It was a futile effort that was doomed form the start.
Negotiations between the opposing parties are increasingly looking futile.