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How can you anlyze Elizabeth-Jane from a quote said by her in The Mayor of Casterbridge?

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sciguy578 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 18, 2010 at 11:06 AM via web

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How can you anlyze Elizabeth-Jane from a quote said by her in The Mayor of Casterbridge?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 18, 2010 at 11:11 PM (Answer #1)

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Elizabeth Jane is a strong character. She is both level-headed and beautiful. Her character develops as the novel progresses. She becomes a well-read, sophisticated young woman, well-liked by all. She is practical and has learned to live happily whether she has money or does not. She makes the best of the hard things that have come her way in life, and she endures. She easily discerns what has transpired between Lucetta and her father, even though Lucetta has told her some "vague" story about a past lover, never imagining that Elizabeth Jane would figure out that it was Henchard.

There is a conversation between Elizabeth Jane and Lucetta in Chapter 30 of the novel that has some quotes you could use. In this chapter, Lucetta has just married Farfrae and she naively asks him if it is OK if Elizabeth Jane moves in with them. Lucetta tells Farfrae she must explain to Elizabeth Jane what has occured, so the two women meet. Elizabeth Jane maintains a calm demeanor as she lets Lucetta know she has figured things out about Lucetta's past. Lucetta starts out asking Elizabeth Jane to recall what she has told her in the past about a man she was going to marry. She tries to explain why she has not married him. Thinking they are talking about Henchard, Elizabeth Jane tells Lucetta that she must marry the secret lover or stay single:

Lucetta's countenance lost its sparkle.  "He turned out to be a man I should be afraid to marry," she pleaded.  "Really afraid!  And it was not till after my renewed promise that I
knew it."

"Then there is only one course left to honesty.  You must
remain a single woman." [Elizabeth Jane's response]

Lucetta is taken aback by this advice, but Elizabeth Jane continues:

"I am certain," interrupted her companion hardily.  "I have guessed very well who the man is.  My father; and I say it is him or nobody for you."

When Lucetta tells Elizabeth Jane that she has been married, Elizabeth Jane happily believes at first that Lucetta has married her father. When she learns it is Farfrae, the man that she, too, loves, she is shocked, but she maintains control. She tells Lucetta:

"Let me think of it alone," the girl quickly replied,
corking up the turmoil of her feeling with grand control.

Read about the novel here on enotes. We don't have the etext, but you can read this chapter at the link below.

 

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