• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What Features of Henchard’s character cause him trouble in the first half of the book?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What Features of Henchard's character cause him trouble in the first half of the book? Michel Henchard is very dominating all through the book and this may be clearly seen in the first half. At the beginning, we can see that Henchard hates women, for example, when he sells his wife to the sailor when he is drunk. He depicts himself as 'something of a woman hater' (page 78), he feels no need for a partner and when he gets back with Susan he treats her and Elizabeth-Jane badly. He also treats Lucetta badly in the way that he leaves her and goes back to Susan without telling Lucetta. Later on he says 'these cursed women - there's not an inch of straight grain in them' (page 151), but while he is cursing them he is always complaining about being lonely. ...read more.

Middle

Many of the townspeople prefer Farfrae to Henchard as he is kinder to the people when estimating the price of their corn. This annoys Henchard and he impulsively sacks Farfrae. This is a mistake though, as he consequently goes out of business because the townspeople prefer Farfrae to Henchard. Henchard's temperament becomes even more hostile after his business fails and he turns to alcohol. A good example of Henchard's mean and feisty temper is after Susan dies. Susan wrote a letter to Henchard, to be read only when she had died, telling him that Elizabeth-Jane was not his daughter, but the sailor's daughter. Henchard did not know that his real daughter had died only a few days after he had sold his wife. After telling Elizabeth-Jane the devastating news that the sailor wasn't her real father, but he was, he then finds out that the sailor was her real father. ...read more.

Conclusion

This really scares Lucetta and has the desired effect: he made his point. The latest events make Henchard very angry and he tries and almost succeeds in killing Farfrae. Farfrae loses all trust in Henchard, understandably, when Henchard impulsively gives the letters back to Jopp to deliver to Lucetta. The letters fall into the wrong hands when Jopp goes to the pub. The truth gets out and Henchard doesn't seem to mind but Lucetta minds a lot. Lucetta then becomes ill while Farfrae is away and Henchard runs to fetch him, but Farfrae thinks he is tricking him and trying once more to take his life. Henchard is being honest though, but because Farfrae doesn't believe that Lucetta is ill, she dies. From the points above we can see how Henchard's character gets him into trouble throughout the first half of the book. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Mayor of Casterbridge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Mayor of Casterbridge essays

  1. Analyse the change in character of Michael Henchard throughout the novel, the Mayor of ...

    When hearing about "Farfrae's coup for establishing himself independently", Henchard agreed it was only right to allow Farfrae to have a go at the corn-selling business.

  2. Comparison between Michael Henchard and Okonkwo

    So as a consequence, Okonkwo rules his household with a firm fist and doe not stand for idle people. With his passion for hard work and leadership, mixed with his impulsive character, you see moments in the book where he cannot control his own emotions and so lashes out at people.

  1. Comparison of Michael Henchard and Okonkwo.

    The only thing worth demonstrating is strength. He therefore treated Ikemefuna as he treated everybody else- with a heavy hand' Also, when told that Ikemefuna must be sacrificed, Okonkwo refuses to reveal his affection towards the boy and even goes as far as to play an active role in the boy's killing in an effort to demonstrate his strength.

  2. the mayor of casterbridge

    An example of Hardy doing this, is on page two, "...half-apathetic expression of on who deems anything possible at the hands of Time and Chance except, perhaps, fair play. The first phase was that work of Nature..." As you may notice, Hardy used capital letters for the beginnings of the three words; Time, Chance and Nature.

  1. The Mayor of Casterbridge | Characters

    His final wish is, in effect, to be obliterated for his sins, which a lifetime of penance was insufficient to obliterate in his own mind. His will asks that Elizabeth-Jane not be informed of his death, that no ceremony mark his passing, that no flowers mark his grave, and "that no man remember me."

  2. How Far Is Michael Henchard Responsible For His Own Ruin? , Do You Feel ...

    The revenge for Jopp comes later in the story forcing Michael to wonder why he did not treat him better. After his fleeting meeting with Jopp his conversation with Elizabeth Jane forces Henchard to feel that life is treating him well, so well in fact that nothing can possibly go wrong.

  1. How does Thomas Hardy control the reader's response to Donald Farfrae in 'The Mayor ...

    At this point the reader has a liking for Farfrae because he brings joy to Henchard and is doing great things for his business. The reader's perception of Farfrae starts to change when he becomes progressively more popular with the people of Casterbridge, which is underlined when Henchard talks to

  2. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Discussing Henchard's personality, and the reasons for his success ...

    When the sound of an auctioneer selling horses interrupts Henchard's musings, he jokes that he would be willing to sell his wife if someone wanted to buy her. Susan begs him to stop his teasing, declaring that "this is getting serious.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work