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Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Sex is so intertwined in our society that it pervades each facet, including television, books, advertising, and conversation. Movies like The Matrix toss in gratuitous sex because the audience nearly expects it. Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, therefore, is exceptional in its lack of sexual situations. The subject of sexual motivation and its inherent ambiguity with regard to Henchard's actions is a topic that caught my attention from the very first pages of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Continually in the novel there is tension, but it is never described as sexual. Much the same, there are countless marriages during the novel but no related sexual attraction is discussed. The topics of sex and sexuality are simply expected in most literature, because they are such dominant themes in everyday life. Hence, the absence of sex is more noticeable than its inclusion in this novel.
The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with what I believe to be the single most important event of the entire novel. Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a passing sailor for five guineas. This is a perfect example of
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