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Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy Essay

1706 words - 7 pages

The Mayor Of CasterbridgeBy Thomas HardyTo what extent is it Henchard's temperament that causes his downfall? And to what extent is there a fateful inevitability to Henchard's tragedy? How does Hardy gain the reader's sympathy for Henchard?The mayor of Casterbridge is about a man who sells his wife and daughter at a fair he then spends 18 years trying to find them. He then becomes the Mayor of Casterbridge and hires a Mr. Farfrae after this his life goes downhill. Then, Henchard dies. But, what caused his downfall? His character? Fate? Also, how does Thomas Hardy ensure that Henchard gains the reader's sympathy despite everything he does?Well, there are three key factors that lead to Henchard's downfall. One of these key factors is his character…First of all one of Henchard's personality traits that contribute to his downfall is his impetuosity. A good example of this is when he hires Farfrae on the spot, after already promising that job to another man named Joshua Jopp. This helps the coming of his downfall by actually keeping Farfrae in Casterbridge, eventually resulting in Henchard's popularity being won over by Farfrae.More importantly, when Farfrae and Henchard put on their entertainments for the locals, Henchard fired Farfrae when he sees him dancing with Luccetta. This is a good example of his rashness. It contributes to his downfall because his popularity has now almost totally been won over by Farfrae.Another of Henchard's poor character traits is his ambition. If he weren't so ambitious, he wouldn't have sold his wife in the first place. He believed that Susan and Elizabeth-Jane were preventing him from achieving all he possibly could in life. Evidence of this is when he said, "If I were a free man again, I would be worth a thousand pound." When everyone finds out that he sold his wife, he becomes hugely unpopular, leading to his downfall. Also, when Luccetta found out about this, she married Farfrae instead; for fear that Henchard may do the same thing to her if she married him. This results in Henchard being devastated, contributing to his downfall.Another one of Henchard's personality traits that contribute to his downfall is that he is a very jealous man and his jealousy is a major contribution to his downfall. One example of this jealousy is when Henchard is asked if Farfrae was available to value a haystack. He then learns from a little boy that Farfrae is more popular than him. The book then says, "Henchard replied with covered gloom," which shows that he was emotionally hurt by what the little boy had just told him. This contributes to his downfall because if he hadn't of learned about Farfrae being more popular than him, then he wouldn't have regretted hiring him as much and wouldn't be as upset. Without knowing about it, he could've gone about his normal business regularly. This jealousy of Farfrae builds up gradually through out the novel.Another example of Henchard's jealousy is when he and Farfrae put on their...

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