The Mayor Of Casterbridge Essay Topics

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Essay

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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy wrote the novel 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' in 1886. Two of the main characters, Donald Farfrae and Michael Henchard have a contrast in luck and Hardy uses characterisation, language, historical and social background and a craft in the structure of his novel to help bring across this point. During this essay I am going to comment upon how Hardy does this and further consider the view that, Farfrae's good fortune is a result of Henchard's ill luck.

Throughout the novel there are many examples of Farfrae's good fortune resulting in Henchard's ill luck. One of the most important examples in the book is when Henchard and Farfrae both gamble on…show more content…

Both of these types of characterisation link in with Farfrae's good fortune and Henchard's ill luck.

Hardy creates Henchard not as an evil man but more of tragic hero. This is a person with a fatal flaw. Henchard's main flaw is his temper. This first adds to his ill luck right at the start of the novel when he sells Susan and his daughter in a drunken angry state. Even though this does not directly link in with Farfrae's good fortune (as he is not present in the start of the novel) it does later on in the novel when the furmity seller arrives back and tells the court of Henchard's secret. When Henchard admits to what is being said by the old women all respect is lost for him and he looses his role of town mayor. When Farfrae finally becomes mayor near the end of the novel (after the mayor after Henchard dies) his good fortune is a result of Henchard's ill luck which is the result of his fatal flaw. Hardy also uses fate against Henchard throughout the whole novel. An example of this is when Henchard and Farfrae both hold a dance for the townspeople. Farfrae has his in a barn whereas Henchard's is out in the open. When it rains on the night of the dance everyone turns out to Farfrae's even Susan and Elizabeth-Jane. This leads to Farfrae's popularity rising and Henchard's to carry on decreasing (as the dance was a hope to regain some

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Essay Topic 1

Hardy refers to "man as the blot on an otherwise kindly universe," but continues to note that there are times men are peaceful while the beasts in animals come out. According to Hardy, what is the nature of man? How does Michael Henchard represent man?

Essay Topic 2

Susan lives for eighteen years with Newson without much trouble. However, once she finds out that her marriage is not binding, she is distressed. What does this say about how Susan views marriage? Why does the legality of the marriage have such an effect on her? Why does she stay? Is marriage about love? An obedience? A law?

Essay Topic 3

When Susan learns Henchard is the mayor, she is afraid to meet him, due to his success. Susan partially expects him to be in the stocks or in debtor's prison, so why does she search for him? Since he...

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