Essay Questions On Mayor Of Casterbridge

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Costing Farfrae his job, Henchard had begun a rivalry with Farfrae – one that he would soon lose (111).

Henchard’s irrational decisions invoked by his emotions lead him down a spiral, and in result, he suffers needlessly because of them.

Unfortunately, Henchard’s flaws and misfortunes cost him everything and doomed him to a predetermined tragic life.

Likewise, Farfrae’s opposite attitude on life brings prosperity.

The reader re-exhibits Henchard’s anger later on in the novel when he prematurely opens a letter from Susan to learn that Elizabeth-Jane is not his birth daughter, but the daughter of Newson, the sailor who had bought Susan with his biological daughter.

Prior to opening the letter, his feelings towards Elizabeth-Jane were positive as he was under the impression that this was his daughter that he had conceived with Susan.Henchard dismissed Farfrae’s kindness and later took the rivalry as far as to battle Farfrae to death.Henchard’s impulsive actions, built on anger, almost labeled him a murderer, thus, it would have further destined him into a more miserable life.Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, among other various works, attest to this philosophy.As Henchard falls, Farfrae rises to greatness because of his character.Anger, stemmed from an unhappy marriage at a young age, contributes to Henchard’s intolerable character, in combination with the intoxication of alcohol.The fusion of anger and intoxication results in Henchard’s intensified emotions and exaggerated behaviour.At that time, Henchard showed the upmost care for Elizabeth-Jane.However, after he had read the letter, his attitude became condescending towards her and he treated her bitterly for some time.The combination of emotional instability and an unhappy marriage had sealed the protagonist’s fate as he committed the transaction.This proves that one’s character determines their fate.


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