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To what extent is Michael Henchard to blame for his own fate?

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English Coursework To what extent is Michael Henchard to blame for his own fate? Its human nature to blame someone for your own actions, especially the bad ones. It's more like a defence mechanism; but in Henchard's case it's different: At the beginning of the story we see Henchard and his wife walking to the nearby village of Weydon-Priors in the search of employment. From the minor dialogue they have we can see that this is not the perfect marriage: "What was really peculiar however, in this couple's progress, and would have attracted the attention of any casual observer otherwise disposed to overlook them, was the perfect silence they preserved". Already from the beginning of the novel we see that Henchard doesn't seem to be having the of best life's. ...read more.


This proves he is conscious of his mistake and how he can prevent repeating it one way or another. Later on in the novel we have new tragedies that occur, and unfortunately they are all for the worst and they all affect Henchard's life. His original wife had returned, not because she wanted to, but because she had no where else to go. At her death he discovers Marie-Jane is not really his real daughter but that of the sailor who bought his wife. This is also his fault, if he had not drunk alcohol she wouldn't have left him in the first place. There came a point in the story when Henchard needed a new manager to smooth things out in his business, someone who knew the new tricks in the agricultural business. ...read more.


I believe that in life, "what is meant to happen will happen"; but at the same time we are given the chance to choose our paths. If we "play our cards right" we can achieve anything; but if our choices are taken too quickly without thought or research on what could happen in the long term, our lives would look similar to that of Henchard's. at the end of the day I believe that we are responsible for our actions no matter how damaging they may be. Henchard played the wrong hand and didn't see what was coming. I sympathize with Henchard's lack of "luck" but you would have thought that he would have learnt his lesson by now. Henchard is the only one to blame for his fate, for it is his fault. Word Count: 576 words. ...read more.

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