The Mayor of Casterbridge Questions and Answers

The Mayor of Casterbridge

The most important theme in The Mayor of Casterbridge is that of blind Fate. For Hardy, Fate is blind, arbitrary and merciless and always brings misery, pain, sorrow and suffering. There is no...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 8:27 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Donald Farfrae is a man small in stature yet large on principles and self-control. He acts according to high moral and ethical principles in all things, so that when he is impelled into...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 7:38 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

When you think of a man of character, you think of someone who has good moral standards in their life. Michael Henchard doesn't quite fit this description, however he is a man of character. Michael...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2014 4:11 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Pessimism runs throughout Hardy's fiction like lead through a pencil. Cut away at any of his novels, and there it is, staring right at you in all its brittle grayness. As someone lacking in the...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2020 10:27 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Setting in this novel is incredibly important, because the ancient city of Casterbridge with its easily detected remnants of Roman civilisation act as a physical symbol of Michael Henchard and his...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2013 1:17 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy explores the qualities of personal character and reputation in light of the Victorian era's changing class relations in England. The Industrial Revolution played a significant role in...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2019 8:10 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Michael Henchard’s impulsivity is evident in his actions. Of course, his most recklessly spontaneous act occurs in the first chapter of the text. While surreptitiously imbibing rum from his bowl of...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2010 10:21 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Hardy's novels are famous for their bleak and unyielding view of the world and man's place in it. His expression of what he called the immanent will, which he characterised as a force that was...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Consider thecaged goldfinch and how it operates in this masterful novel. This is the gift that Henchard brings to Elizabeth-Jane on the day of her wedding and shows his guilt and sadness about what...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 1:28 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

What is interesting about Elizabeth-Jane in this brilliant novel is the way that she is depicted as undergoing a massive transformation in terms of her character. When she first enters the novel,...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Michael Henchard's heroic tragic flaw is related to Hardy's theme of how a person's inner character traits interact with blind Fate. Hardy's point is that for every choice a person makes, future...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 4:17 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Firstly, you can talk about the role of coincidence as a stylistic element in this novel. In particular, coincidence is shown to be key way in which ruin is brought to characters. Consider the way...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

One way of answering this question would be to analyse the subtitle that Hardy chose for this excellent novel. Let us remember that this "Story of a Man of Character," which immediately makes us...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

One of Lucetta Templeman's most prominent character traits is opportunism. Having once been Henchard's mistress, she comes to Casterbridge after she hears that his wife has died with the plan to...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2019 5:59 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

For Aristotle, who defined tragedy, tragedy is always a tragedy of actions. For him, plot (i.e., action) was always the paramount point in tragedy. The character of the characters came second....

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012 3:19 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

I will focus on one symbol, and then you can hopefully use that as a basis to think about other symbols in this text. You might like to think of the caged goldfinch as an important symbol in the...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy departs not only from Shakespearean tragedy but from all major tragedians before him, as well as from Aristotle's definition of tragedy in the Poetics. Aristotle says that tragedy...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2019 6:51 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Susan in The Mayor of Casterbridge is a young, attractive, unhappily married woman with a baby daughter. We don't learn much about her, so she remains a somewhat mysterious figure, but we do know...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2021 10:15 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Clearly I am only going to be able to give you a brief summary of four major characters, so I have also given you a few links below to the enotes study section of this novel that will be able to...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2011 8:57 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The primary element of irony embraces also the main theme of the story - that is, that life is a sum product of consequences of one's personal choices and that of simple destiny, over which one has...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2009 12:19 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge offers an insight into the wayward life of its protagonist, Michael Henchard. The fictional city of Casterbridge provides a picture of Dorchester in the 19th century. In...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2018 3:04 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

You might like to analyse the following quote as part of your discussion of how Henchard and Farfrae are used as foils for each other in their profound difference and how each represents different...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 1:22 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge can be considered a modernist text because it deals with the transformation of British agrarian society and the rise of agricultural technology and sophisticated farming...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2021 2:46 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Interestingly, Hardy was the major novelist of the Victorian era, and this novel is one of those novels that was first serialised in journals and periodicals and then published in its entirety. It...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Both of these novels deal with crimes. In Mayor of Casterbridge, Henchard sells his wife and daughter and lies about it and hides from it for years. In Great Expectations, Pip hides from the guilt...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2010 1:09 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Elizabeth-Jane is the daughter of the mayor, Michael Henchard, and his former wife Susan. Much of the plot revolves around the fact that Elizabeth-Jane’s biological...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2019 7:15 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

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....

Latest answer posted March 18, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The title of Thomas Hardy’s 1886 novel is The Mayor of Casterbridge. The subtitle is The Life and Death of a Man of Character. As with many other books, the title is significant because it refers...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2021 4:33 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The main character of the novel is Michael Henchard. He begins the novel as a farm labourer who controversially sells his wife and daughter in a fit of drunken despondency at his own poverty. This...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2009 1:25 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Lucetta is a flat character built mostly around her entirely superficial nature and her pursuit of status and wealth through just about whatever means she can think of. This single characteristic...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 12:21 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

As Susan Henchard lies on her deathbed, she figures it's time for confession. Not long before she passes from this world into the next, she confesses that she was the one who sent the matching...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2021 9:59 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

In chapter 1 of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, a young man called Mike, his wife, Susan, and their small daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, were on their way to the village of Weydon-Priors, in...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2019 7:29 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Let us start off by remembering that Farfrae and Henchard are contrasted through their different kind of masculinities. Henchard is a big, strong and tall male who is aggressive at times and very...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The character of Le Sueur, also known as Miss Templeman, is a foil to the character of Elizabeth-Jane. Elizabeth is a genuine person with a good head on her shoulders, whereas Lucetta is extremely...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2021 1:26 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Three traits that underlie Lucetta's character, seen in chapters 18 and 22, and that provide many of her motivations are that she is fond of scheming, she is a fraud, and she is self-serving. Fond...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019 11:05 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, Donald Farfrae's character is a foil to the character of Michael Henchard. The two men have a lot in common. They arrive at a similar times...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2021 7:41 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Part of this pattern you are seeing is a result of the idea of fate. Sometimes the novel may seem a bit contrived and the coincidences that appear almost become unbelievable. However, the theme of...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2008 7:00 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Hardy's intent in writing the novel was to catalogue the realities of Dorset life in a fictional context. However bizarre it may seem, the opening event of the novel, where Henchard sells his wife,...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2010 9:10 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge is one of Thomas Hardy's "Wessex" novels, set in a fictional county of Wessex that mirrors southwest England (especially Dorset). Hardy, who considered his novels mainly...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Susan is the wife of Michael Henchard, the mayor of Casterbridge. At the start of the novel, Henchard sells her to a sailor, Richard Newson; years later, after Newson is presumed dead, she returns...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2021 1:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Since a novel is essentially fictional and the author does not address us in propria persona, it is difficult to determine intentionality from the text. One cannot assume that even the novel's...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2011 10:51 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Elizabeth-Jane has natural assets like good-nature, loving attitude and beauty but has no education or breeding to enable her natural abilities to stand out to notice. She's self-effacing and...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 6:17 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

In Chapter 19 of The Mayor of Casterbridge, Susan Henchard has just died and, in the grief following her death, Henchard makes another one of his decisions that lack foresight and have...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 3:08 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

I think that you can find some levels of comparison between Henchard and Bovary. Both of them view marriage as a prison of sorts. Henchard believes that marriage ruined his chances at life, while...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2010 11:59 pm UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy's novel, like the majority of mid-Victorian novels was first published in serial format in the magazine Graphic in 1884-5 and then in double-decker format. Thus we have two versions of...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2011 11:21 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest may be garnered from Michael's character flaw: he has a tragically flawed character making him unfit and therefore he will not survive. The main...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2010 5:39 am UTC

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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Great book! I really enjoyed studying it when I was at school though I must admit, I didn't like it at first. Here are a few possible themes for you to think about though and to explore in the...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2010 12:06 pm UTC

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