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"Character is fate" wrote Hardy. How far do you think Henchard in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and the main characters in "Of Mice and Men" end up lonely figures.

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Introduction

"Character is fate" wrote Hardy. How far do you think Henchard in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and the main characters in "Of Mice and Men" end up lonely figures because of their characters and how far it is to do with elements beyond their control? The issue of this essay is whether or not "character is fate" according to the two books, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and "Of Mice and Men" which I will be comparing. "Character is fate" means that someone's fate is determined by his or her personality or character. A person will end up a certain way in life, such as lonely, by the way they handle situations. So maybe fate will put a person in a certain situation or give a person a certain opportunity, but it is how that person chooses to deal with what is happening which will change the course of their life. This depends on a person's character. But the other side of the debate, one might argue, is that if that person was not put by fate in that certain situation in the first place, then they would not have the chance to deal with a situation that may change the course of their life. This argument is highly complicated and controversial, and so throughout this essay I will be trying to show each writer's ideas on this subject and show how they portray them in the story. ...read more.

Middle

This shows Curley doesn't really talk to her much. So she confides in Lennie and he ends up accidentally killing her. Henchard and Curley are both bitter and stubborn people and therefore end up lonely. So character is fate in this case. However, fate does play a part in Curley's case as he has been brought up in a society where women are considered inferior and with contempt. He therefore doesn't feel guilt for his bad treatment of her. The undertakings of Henchard in the firmity tent when he sold his wife were the cause of all his loneliness. His obstinate, impulsive and self-righteous character emphasized by the alcohol caused this reckless act. "Conscious of his alcoholic load", "Mark me-ill not go after her!" Even when he had realised the mistake he had made "he had not quite anticipated this ending". His stubborn character prevented him from going after her, he cared more about making a fool of himself to others, by going after her, than actually getting her back. So, once again Henchard's character is the cause of his loneliness. Like Henchard, Crooks is lonely due to his aggressive distrustful nature. "I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain't wanted in my room." However due to the attitude towards blacks at the time, he is segregated from the other workers, and because of this, builds up barriers to shut out all forms of friendship and contact. ...read more.

Conclusion

He does this by portraying everything that goes wrong for hardy as due to his character, constantly preventing us from feeling sorry for him. However the author of 'of mice and men' John Steinbeck takes the opposite approach, he makes the reader feel sorry for his characters, portraying their loneliness being almost totally due to fate as opposed to their character. The circumstances of the two novels differ greatly due to the different time periods and society. Steinbeck is writing about migrant workers in America in the 30's. At this time society in America was very brutal and prejudice towards the poor, women and blacks making it hard for them to pull themselves out of poverty. So in the book it is due to elements beyond the migrant workers control that they were born into a poor family. As a result of being poor they had to travel around going from job to job, this caused them to be lonely as it was hard to keep friends if you were moving around a lot. Whereas in The Mayor of Casterbridge Henchard manages to go from being a hay trusser to being the mayor because of the different society. I think that there is no right or wrong answer to whether or not character is fate but how a person will end up is due to both their character and their fate. ...read more.

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