What was Thomas Hardy purpose for writing The Mayor of Casterbridge?

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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 think of the way in which this novel focuses on the importance of character and how the traits of a character determine his or her fate. The focus on the term "character" raises a number of interesting questions, such as the way in which honour and moral righteousness relates to character.

Henchard as the protagonist of this novel does not seem to fit any neat description of character. He is subject to violent...

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