"Discuss how the passage of time is presented in the first chapters of The Mayor of Casterbridge. What effect does it have on the characters?"
THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE. "Discuss how the passage of time is presented in the first chapters of The Mayor of Casterbridge. What effect does it have on the characters?" This essay will answer the preceding question by discussing how the key characters and places develop and are affected by the passage of time in the first few chapters of the book. The author of the book is Thomas Hardy, a very descriptive writer, although this is one of his faster paced books. It was written in the 1880's and is set in the 1830's. The book begins with Michael Henchard walking along a dusty road with his wife Susan. She is carrying a baby called Elizabeth -Jane. After getting to the fair taking place in the village Henchard becomes drunk and sells his wife. The next day he regrets what he has done and consequently swears an oath that he will not touch a drop of liquor for 21 years. At this point in the book (chapters 2-3) there is an 18 year gap in the book. The book is set in the summer of around 1830 we know this because "before the 19th century had reached one-third of its span." As it was set in the 1830's the landscape would have been very different from today. This is demonstrated from the start of the book. Michael and Susan Henchard are "plainly but not ill clad" This tells us that they are not badly off. On the other hand they are covered in a "thick hoar of dust" telling us that
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Kate Alexander The Mayor of Casterbridge Essay The novel is set in about 1830 "before the nineteenth century had reached one third of its span." The events I am studying take place in the large village of Weydon-Priors in Upper Wessex in a tent at the fair; where furmity is sold. There are two main characters called Michael and Susan Henchard, they have a baby daughter called Elizabeth Jane who is about six months old. Michael Henchard is a poor man; you can tell this because him and his family are walking everywhere and they're plainly dressed in working clothes "They were plainly but not ill clad." His relationship with his wife, Susan, appears to be a quiet one, with neither of them showing obvious signs of affection towards each other "Sometimes the man's bent elbow almost touched her shoulder, for she kept as close to his side as possible without actual contact." There seems to be complete silence between the couple, the only noise from the family was the whisper of Susan to her daughter "If any word at all were uttered it was an occasional whisper of the woman to the child." Once at the fair Michael Henchard and his family go into a tent where furmity is sold. It is whilst in this tent that Michael sells his wife. The family have furmity, Michael has his furmity laced with rum to add flavour to the mixture "He winked to her, and passed up his basin in reply to
The Mayor of Casterbridge - 'Michael Henchard's life was a series of disasters that led to self-destruction; we can have no sympathy for him.' Discuss.
The Mayor of Casterbridge 'Michael Henchard's life was a series of disasters that led to self-destruction; we can have no sympathy for him.' Discuss. Whilst studying 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' it is noticeable from a fairly early stage that the title statement is ambivalent. We can clearly see that he suffered a great number of disasters, but he also achieved success to a higher level than most. When looking at his position before arriving in Casterbridge and for a while prior to his status boost, it is clear just how much his status has grown. When Michael arrived in Casterbridge he was a 'journeyman hay-trusser.' From this position he managed to work on his status Worth explaining how until he was a churchwarden, magistrate and the town Mayor. The biggest disaster that Michael experienced was when he sold his wife, Susan, in Mrs Goodenough's grand furmity tent at Weydon Fair. He consumed several portions of smuggled rum-laced furmity, each one a little stronger. After three it was said that he was argumentative but still had more and eventually sold his wife to a sailor. What motivated the sale? What frame of mind was he in? Use supporting quotation. You need to explain events, Laura, not just mention that they happened. Analysis is the key to success. The day after, realising what he had done, he made a vow not to drink for as many years as he had lived to that day -
Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy wrote the tragic novel The Mayor of Casterbrige (1886), setting it in the fictional town Casterbridge which was based on his childhood town Dorchester. Hardy's novel explores the life of a rural hay-trusser, Michael Henchard and his rise and fall in Casterbridge. It was set in 1846, before the Corn Laws, when England was experiencing scientific and technical advancement and new ways of working. In addition, social values were also changing. Hardy is well known for his very pictorial descriptions and was a writer in the realist/naturalist tradition and used real places in Dorchester to describe rural Casterbrige. The functions of Hardy's descriptive language creates a vivid picture; illustrates and reflects the personality of the characters concerned; creates a strong sense of atmosphere often using pathetic fallacy and gives a sense of social history. Throughout the novel, Hardy describes many exterior settings such as Casterbridge and its surrounding area including Weydon Priors, The Ring and the market-place. Interior settings include Henchard and Lucetta's home and the three public houses, the King's Arms, the Three Mariners and Peter's Finger. What would the modern reader think about the vivid descriptions Hardy creates that contribute greatly to the novel? When Casterbridge is first introduced, it is described as being an isolated old-fashioned agricultural
How does Thomas Hardy control the reader's response to Donald Farfrae in 'The Mayor of Casterbridge?'
How does Thomas Hardy control the reader's response to Donald Farfrae in 'The Mayor of Casterbridge?' Throughout the novel 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', Thomas Hardy successfully engages the reader in the character of Donald Farfrae. Hardy uses subtle sentences that sway the reader's view of the character with great effectiveness. Farfrae does some terrible things, but he cannot be held totally responsible for his actions, as he does not knowingly cause turmoil. Consequently, the reader cannot have a detestation of Farfrae who is an entrepreneur and has a great logical mind. However, he is outstandingly naïve when it comes to issues involving human relationships, and he makes awful decisions concerning women. In this essay I hope to give sufficient evidence to back up my theories. The first time the reader encounters Donald Farfrae, it is through Elizabeth-Jane's eyes. She describes the stranger with curiosity and attraction; ...a young man of remarkably pleasant aspect, who carried in his hand a carpet-bag of the smart floral pattern prevalent in such articles at that time. He was ruddy and of fair countenance, bright-eyes and Slight in build The reader shares Elizabeth-Jane's thoughts and wants to know more about this intriguing new arrival. Having seen Donald Farfrae for only a few moments, Elizabeth-Jane seems to be instantly attracted. Donald goes on to help
Analyse the change in character of Michael Henchard throughout the novel, the Mayor of Casterbridge
Two Sides of the Same Coin Analyse the change in character of Michael Henchard throughout the novel, the Mayor of Casterbridge Through the entire novel Michael Henchard, his municipal office providing the book's eponymous title, portrays a persistent fluctuation of character. At a glance, we see that he is driven by rage and impetuosity yet; his harsh exploitations uncover a fountain of love deep within his body. This does not only resemble his ambivalence, but also reinforces the fact that the Mayor of Casterbridge's actions have either been fuelled by ambition or just led by fate. Right from the beginning, Thomas Hardy suggests that his tale will revolve around one central character, as he subtitles his book: "The Life and Death of a Man of Character." Yet, in this vast world, Henchard, a mere drop in the ocean, has been singled out and conspired against by providence. In what some say as the prologue of the novel, chapters one and two feature the first twist in Henchard's life. The Furmity Scene sees the selling of Susan Henchard to a "sailor, who was unobserved by the rest." This is therefore, the first sign of impulsiveness, which overcomes Henchard. It can also be concluded that his fate had turned sour because the auction was about to end fruitlessly until, at the very last moment, Mr. Newson, by chance had entered the tent "within the last two or three
How Far Is Michael Henchard Responsible For His Own Ruin? , Do You Feel He Can Usefully Be Described As A Tragic Hero?
How Far Is Michael Henchard Responsible For His Own Ruin? , Do You Feel He Can Usefully Be Described As A Tragic Hero? Aristotle described a tragic hero as someone who has a fatal flaw that bring about ruin along with matters that are out of their own control. An example of this is Macbeth in the play written by Shakespeare where he gets himself into a position of eminence through sins but cannot stop his fate as it is left out of his control. The same can be said for Michael Henchard. We meet Michael Henchard first as a young hay trusser walking along the road leading to Weydon Priors with his wife and daughter. It soon occurs to the reader that there is some tension between husband and wife, underlined when Hardy describes, "she had no idea of taking his arm, nor he offering it". I believe that this shows that Michael Henchard sees his wife as obligatory and is holding him back from making something of his life. The next significant part in the story is in the ferimity tent of the village fare. This helps underline a drink problem with Henchard that later in life helps catapult Henchard to his downfall. Michael Henchard believes if he did not have to look after his wife and child he would be "worth a thousand pound". This is merely an observation and many at this part in the story would not have believed him, but as we later find out this observation turns into the
To what extent is Michael Henchard to blame for his own fate?
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. Later on at the fair, under the influence of alcohol he auctions his wife; this moment had changed his whole life. Now it would have been easier for him to say something like: "I'm sorry I had too much to drink..." but he didn't; because he is aware of his mistake. At the end of the day, selling his wife was his fault. After which he takes a vow never to touch alcohol again for the next twenty years. 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
Comparison of Michael Henchard and Okonkwo.
Freya Ollerearnshaw Comparison of Michael Henchard and Okonkwo In this essay I shall be comparing the characters of Michael Henchard, from the 'Mayor of Casterbridge' by Thomas Hardy, and Okonkwo, from 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe. I will compare and contrast the similarities and differences in each man's character, position in their community and the major challenges they both face as their stories advance. I will also give an account of their weakness and strengths and their response to the changes in their environment. At the beginning of Chapter 3 in the 'Mayor of Casterbridge', we discover that Henchard has the leading office of Mayor. Christopher Coney describes Henchard's position by saying, "He's the powerfulest member of the town council and quite a principal man in the country round besides... He worked his way up from nothing and now he's a pillar of the town." This very fact tells us a lot about Henchard's character, that he came to Casterbridge as a simple hay-trusser and managed to build up and maintain a successful business, gain a well-known and trusted reputation and rise to such a powerful position, despite his disreputable past. To do this Henchard would have had to have been determined, extremely hardworking and ambitious to make a better life for himself. Most of Henchard's achievement was due to the oath he swore straight after selling his
The Mayor of Casterbridge | Characters
The Mayor of Casterbridge | Characters Donald Farfrae A young Scot who arrives in Casterbridge at about the same time as Susan and Elizabeth-Jane, Donald Farfrae becomes Michael Henchard's business manager. He quickly becomes Henchard's only trusted friend and, later, his adversary in both business and love. Hardy draws Farfrae as Henchard's counterpart in every way. He is physically small, polite and charming, careful and controlled, forward thinking, and methodical. Whereas Henchard propels his fate through moments of rash behavior, Farfrae is cool and calculating in all he does. Although his personality is friendly and engaging, Farfrae maintains a certain detachment from people and events, always considering the possible consequences of his decisions and actions before he makes them. As a result, his path through life is as smooth as Henchard's is rough. Farfrae initiates a relationship with Henchard by providing information that is a great help to Henchard in solving a business problem and by refusing Henchard's offer of payment for the information. Henchard is so grateful and impressed that he talks Farfrae into abandoning his plans to go to America and convinces him to take a job as Henchard's business manager. Because Farfrae is more organized and methodical than Henchard, the business prospers under his management. Farfrae is ambitious enough to eventually go