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GCSE: The Mayor of Casterbridge

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
  1. To what extent is Michael Henchard to blame for his own fate?

    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.

    • Word count: 591
  2. Michael Henchard brought his troubles upon himself. How far do you agree with this statement?

    This is same aspect of Henchard that made him so forbearing and committed to his wedding vows with Susan. This characteristic allowed him to be reliable, something that greatly assisted him to being respected in the town. However, if he would have not been so honourable and turned Susan away, it may have all worked out better. I can speculate, he could have married Lucetta and her money would have been a great asset to him and his business, not to mention depriving Farfrae of the money. This is an example of how Henchard's passions obstructs his goals. There is also evidence to suggest Henchard is impulsive: for example, Henchard, without taking the time to consider his decision, dismisses Farfrae after the party.

    • Word count: 616
  3. What Features of Henchard’s character cause him trouble in the first half of the book?

    This causes him to get Farfrae to stay in Casterbridge by offering him a job. Henchard is a very impulsive person and is very superstitious, for example, he goes to see a fortune teller who tells him that there is going to be a bad harvest and that he should hold onto the grain and sell it at an inflated price, without asking any questions. The town of Casterbridge then blames him for selling bad grain when the harvest was good.

    • Word count: 730

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Whom or what is most to blame for Henchards downfall, to what extent do you believe he was right to blame himself

    "In conclusion I believe that to some extent Henchard himself is to blame for his own downfall from these examples and these reasons however it was not his own entire fault about his downfall, other characters in the novel played a big part in his life as when new characters for example, Farfrae were introduced, his life suddenly declined. In the beginning he became the mayor and was certainly a respectable man in the community. It is all down to fate, as nearly everything that happened in the novel was against him and at the end of the novel Hardy indicates this by signifying him dead."

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