Discuss Hardy's Presentation of Romantic Love in the Mayor of Casterbridge.

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Allen Hoten 11y

Discuss Hardy's Presentation of Romantic Love in the Mayor of Casterbridge

In the Mayor of Casterbridge, it seems that Thomas Hardy's life experiences are reflected through the story's main character, Michael Henchard. For example, Hardy had a loveless first marriage, just like Henchard. He also suffered from depression like Henchard did. This essay will investigate what Hardy's attitude to romantic love was in the Mayor of Casterbridge.

When we first see Henchard with his wife, it seems that he is a loveless person. This is displayed through the "perfect silence they preserved" between each other and when Henchard is reading, or "pretending to read" to "escape an intercourse" with his wife. He then drunkenly sells his wife in a furmity tent at the fair and shouts things like "this woman is no good to me".  His emotions in the next day are more concerned with his pride than about the loss of his wife. This is displayed when he asks himself "did I tell anyone my name last night?".

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Later on in the story, Henchard plans to remarry Susan, but it seems that it is a duty to him, because there is no love, care or fondness mentioned and he may be trying to hide the past. We see this when he says that the plan would leave his "shady, headstrong, disgraceful" life when he was young "absolutely unopened". He also confesses that he is  a "woman hater" and there doesn't seem to be any mention of romantic love after the remarriage.

After Susan dies, Henchard doesn't grieve or show any sadness towards her and regards the ...

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