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The novel opens on aroad near the

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The novel opens on a road near the village of Weydon-Priors, in the English county of Wessex. Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser, is travelling with his wife, Susan, and young daughter, Elizabeth-Jane. However, a passing farmer tells the Henchards that there is no chance of finding work or housing in the village but there is a fair happening there. They head for the fair and Michael takes his family to a furmity seller's tent in Weydon-Priors. Michael requests liquor and the furmity seller adds liquor to Michael's meal, and after several servings Michael becomes an angry drunk. He believes his marriage at a young age ruined all his chances for success and he offers to sell his wife and daughter to the highest bidder. Since the crowd response positively he starts the bidding. After several unanswered calls, Susan says that someone should buy her, since she doesn't like her present owner. Most of the other customers in the tent treat the auction as a joke, but soon a passing sailor hears the announcements and enters the tent. He offers to buy Susan and Elizabeth-Jane for five guineas, first making sure that Susan is willing to go. When Michael takes the money, Susan and Elizabeth-Jane leave with the sailor. ...read more.


However, Elizabeth-Jane's shyness and discord between Farfrae and Michael have stopped any hope of a romance. Farfrae and Michael first have a disagreement over the punishment for a worker, Abel Whittle, who is nearly always late. Next, during a celebration, Farfrae's party is a success while Michael's is a complete failure. The townspeople openly thank Farfrae, which leads Michael to say that Farfrae's job as general manger is over. Farfrae resigns and opens up his own store. Susan gets sick and in a couple of weeks dies, leaving a letter for Michael that is not to be opened until Elizabeth-Jane's wedding-day. Michael is lonely from the arguments with Farfrae and the lack of any friendship with Elizabeth-Jane, so he tells the girl that he is her father. After thinking it over, Elizabeth-Jane is convinced. Meanwhile, Michael finds Susan's letter and reads it. The letter reveals that Michael's own daughter died, and this Elizabeth-Jane is the child of the sailor Newson. The discovery shocks and angers Michael, and he becomes mean to Elizabeth-Jane without telling her the truth. Elizabeth-Jane is confused, but tries to win the love of Michael by immersing herself in her studies. She also visits her mother's grave. ...read more.


They plan to have a skimmity-ride through town the next night. When the effigies of Michael and Lucetta ride through town, Lucetta sees and is so shocked that she has a seizure that kills her. The whole world has crashed around Michael, yet he still has the love of Elizabeth-Jane. Even this reconciliation is threatened by a surprise visit from Newson, whom everyone thought dead. Michael tells him that Elizabeth-Jane is dead, and the sailor accepting this, leaves. Although Michael and Elizabeth-Jane soon settle into a peaceful life, Michael constantly worries about Newson's return. Meanwhile, Farfrae returns to Elizabeth-Jane. Michael is nervous about their love, and he becomes even more nervous when Elizabeth-Jane says she must meet someone. She meets Newson, who tells her the truth about her birth. At the wedding of Elizabeth-Jane and Farfrae, Michael comes to make up with his step-daughter, but he sees Newson and decides to never trouble Elizabeth-Jane again. Later, Elizabeth-Jane realizes that Michael wanted to make peace with her, and she sets out to find him. Abel Whittle, the man whom Michael wanted to punish once, cared for Michael in his last days. He tells Elizabeth-Jane that Michael is dead. Michael's last will states that no man should remember him. Elizabeth-Jane resolves to do as she is told, preferring to concentrate all her love on her husband and family. Haroon Lone English Coursework English Language ...read more.

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