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GCSE: The Mayor of Casterbridge
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- Peer Reviewed essays 1
Until the 6th page, 3rd paragraph, Michael is referred to as, amongst other things, 'the man'. This gives a bit of suspense as the reader wishes to read further to find out who this person is and what his name. He seems an old fashioned man who does not welcome change. The sexual tension is evident both on an emotional level, "perfect silence they preserved...the woman enjoyed no society whatever from his presence", and physically, "sometimes the man's bent elbow almost touched her shoulder, for she kept as close to his side as was possible without actual contact; but she seemed to have no idea of taking his arm, nor he of offering it".
- Word count: 2393
Because Farfrae is more organized and methodical than Henchard, the business prospers under his management. Farfrae is ambitious enough to eventually go into business for himself, though, and this enrages Henchard even though Farfrae, in his typically principled way, tries to minimize competition between the two firms. Farfrae courts Elizabeth-Jane and even hints that he would marry her if he were in a financial position to do so, but when he meets the newly wealthy Miss Templeman-Henchard's former lover whom he, too, is again courting-he turns his affections to her and marries her.
- Word count: 2138
The Obi, in war and in farming was among the trappings of success. In both books we also learn about the men's shaded history, especially the events of Michael Henchard. From one profound mistake would base the beginning of his oath, an oath that would drive him to success. After more than just one dose of rum in his fermity, Henchard stood up before a crowded tent and proceeded to sell his wife. Only on the final bid of five Guineas, did the transaction conclude and his wife and newly born child disappear to a new life.
- Word count: 2319
The Mayor of Casterbridge - Discussing Henchard's personality, and the reasons for his success and his deterioration in life.
The importance of a solid reputation and character is rather obvious given Henchard's situation, for Henchard has little else besides his name. He arrives in Casterbridge with nothing more than tools of the hay-trusser's trade, through out the course of the novel, Henchard attempts to earn, or to believe that he has earned his position. He is, however, plagued by feelings of his own worthlessness, and he places himself in situations that can only result in failure. For instance, he revels in petty jealousy of Farfrae, which leads to a drawn-out competition in which Henchard loses his position as mayor, his business, and the women he loves.
- Word count: 2127
However, Henchard also has many negative features that are simply part of his personality, which he finds difficult to curb even when he is sober. He is naturally quick to form opinions and agree or object to things, leading to some rash decisions such as the hiring then firing of Farfrae, and the prevention of his courtship with Elizabeth-Jane. A little more thought, consideration and tolerance on Henchard's part could have led to a flourishing relationship with the Scotsman, as both a co-worker and a friend.
- Word count: 2193