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The Individual and his/her relationshipwith society in The Mayor of Casterbridge

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The Individual and his/her relationship with society The mayor of Casterbridge is set in rural England at the time of the Industrial revolution. It is about the rise of Michael Henchard from a lowly hay trusser to a powerful mayor of Casterbridge, it tells us the way he rose and fell to and from power and how he went from being so popular to being friendless. In this essay I will show the relationship between each of the main characters in this novel and the society, which they live in. Michael Henchard Michael Henchard starts off as a hay trusser with a wife and baby daughter who he sells for five guineas to a sailor at Weydon fair while in a drunken state. Once he sobers up in the morning Henchard realises that what he did was wrong and makes an oath in a church that he will not drink for 20 years. Henchard then travels to Casterbridge and gains high status in society, so high that he is elected as mayor after setting up his own hay and corn business. He lives in the biggest house in the village with very expensive furnishings. He hires a young man called Donald Farfrae as his assistant but they fall out and Farfrae sets up in competition with Henchard, which was not what he meant but was how Henchard saw it. ...read more.


Donald Farfrae Farfrae is a young Scotsman who is passing through Casterbridge on his way to America in search of his fortune. While in Casterbridge he meets Henchard who persuades him to stay in Casterbridge as his assistant in his hay and wheat company after he showed Henchard how he could turn bad wheat into good. Farfrae is a very good assistant to Henchard but Henchard sees him as a threat and so fires him. Farfrae was in love with Elizabeth Jane at this point but when visiting her in Lucetta's house he gets talking to Lucetta and eventually falls in love with her. Farfrae sets up his own hay and wheat business which was slightly different to Henchards in that Farfrae looked to use machines whenever possible but Henchard used lots of men. Henchard goes bankrupt and after marrying Lucetta he agrees to give Henchard a job working in the yard. Farfrae becomes very popular in the village and eventually becomes mayor and buys Henchards old house in an auction so that he could give any things in the house that Henchard might want back. When Lucetta dies Farfrae is deeply saddened and feels anger towards Henchard because he feels that it was his fault that she died. ...read more.


When her mother marries Henchard Elizabeth is very happy, she feels she is being treated well, feels she is a respectable woman and has all the things that she wants although she keeps in mind that she doesn't want to return to being poor and so does not want more than she needs. When her mother dies she is told by Henchard that he is her father, she is unhappy that her mother had lied to her but tries not to show it. Henchard then suddenly becomes rude to her, Elizabeth does not know why but feels he does not love her anymore and so she goes to live with Lucetta. When she finds out that Lucetta and Farfrae are in love and later on when they get married she is very upset but does not show any signs on jealousy. Henchard comes to be kind to Elizabeth again when he becomes bankrupt and so Elizabeth goes to live with him after Lucetta died. Elizabeth Jane and Farfrae decide to get married and a few days before the wedding Henchard leaves, this upsets Elizabeth again but she knows that there is a reason. When Elizabeth gets to Farfrae's house she finds Newson there who tells her how Henchard had told him she was dead and how he was her father not Henchard. By Josh Congdon ...read more.

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