The repeated pattern is coincidence, the chance occurrences that explore the nature of fate. Hardy leaves it to the reader to decide if these coincidences suggest the blindness of fate or if they are directed by some supernatural hand leading the characters to their deserved fates. These chance happenings progress the plot of the story. Hardy believed that life is shaped by powerful, uncontrollable forces, such as heredity and God, so that his main character, Henchard, feels that evil universal forces are out to get him.
The novel is filled with coincidence. Susan, the furmity woman, arrives in Casterbridge at just the right time to be able to cause Henchard great harm. The weather changes when Henchard is most vulnerable because of his efforts to destroy Farfrae. These events are believable because the furmity woman travels a lot around the region, and we all know that the weather is still one of the most unpredictable and uncontrollable elements in nature.