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Which of the two key male characters in

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Essay: Which of the two key male characters in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" by Thomas Hardy do you most admire and why? Introduction - Thomas Hardy Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorsetshire, June 2, 1840, and educated in local schools and later privately. His father, a stonemason, apprenticed him early to a local architect engaged in restoring old churches. From 1862 to 1867 Hardy worked for an architect in London and later continued to practice architecture, despite ill health, in Dorset. Meanwhile, he was writing poetry with little success. He then turned to novels as more salable, and by 1874 he was able to support himself by writing. This is also the year that Hardy married his first wife, Emma Gifford. Their marriage lasted until her death in 1912, which prompted Hardy to write his collection of poems called Veteris Vestigiae Flammae (Vestiges of an Old Flame). These poems are some of Hardy's finest and describe their meeting and his subsequent loss. ...read more.


oath before God here in this solemn place that I will avoid all strong liquors for the space of twenty - one years to come, being a year for every year that I have lived. And this I swear upon the book before me; and may I be strook dumb, blind, and helpless, if I break this my oath!" This is a turning point in the book for Henchard, as he will not now drink until a whole twenty - one years have passed! When we next see Michael Henchard, it is in Casterbridge, Hardy's fictional town near to Dorchester. The next rash thing that he does is his engagement of Farfrae on the spur of the moment, and also telling him about the sale of his wife (in roundabout terms) with Farfrae still a complete stranger!! Then his unthinking dismissal of Joshua Jopp away with these harsh words- "Well you're late. ...read more.


This is shown by Henchard's jealousy of Farfrae's construction in the West walk in Casterbridge. However, Farfrae can be very cruel, even when he doesn't realise it himself, such as when he buys Henchard's furniture and house, and then offers some of it back to him. "It will not be depriving me, and I will have plenty of opportunities of getting more." This is a terribly patronising thing to say to Henchard, a man of great pride who has lost everything. All in all, Farfrae has everything that Michael doesn't: the love of Lucetta, the support of the townspeople, and eventually the mayorship of Casterbridge. This is taken as a deep insult by Henchard, who used to have all of that, but has lost it all to his triumphant young rival, whom he himself brought down on him. Who do I prefer? After reviewing the characters of both of the key male roles, I have to prefer Michael Henchard, for his emotion, determination and pure, simple humanity. He is warmer and more sensitive than Farfrae, and I believe deserves far more respect than the latter. ...read more.

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