This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Mayor Of Casterbridge Analysis

1514 words - 7 pages

Character Sketches:
Elizabeth Jane Newson, later Elizabeth Jane Henchard, is naturally pretty but is never considered beautiful because of her conservative dress and attitude. The narrator says that young men do not obsess over her or fall in love with her because she isn’t ostentatious. Elizabeth Jane doesn’t wear the fashionable clothes and isn’t flirtatious. Instead she is reticent and much too serious for the guys in the novel. Elizabeth Jane tries to be extravagant at one point in the story, but she hates the extra attention and becomes even more self conscious. Afterwards, she returns to her “inner chamber of ideas” that keeps her faded into the landscape unnoticed. This idea of ...view middle of the document...

Her passionate personality pushes other passionate characters such as Henchard over the edge into near insanity and simply hurts the conservative characters like Elizabeth Jane and Farfrae with her scandals.

Analysis #1:
Henchard and Macbeth are almost the same character. Henchard is described as a fine man in the opening of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Soon after though, Henchard commits a sin that sticks with him until the end of the novel; he makes the mistake of selling his wife and daughter while drunk. This mistake causes him to vow to abstain from alcohol for 21 years and turn his life around. Henchard becomes the Mayor of Casterbridge and is at the peak of his life. Once he reaches this peak though, his sin comes back to haunt him. The sin pushes him into a downward spiral until finally he dies as the antagonist and with no nobility.
Similarly, Macbeth begins as a fine Scottish general in the opening of Macbeth. Soon though, Macbeth, like Henchard, commits a sin that sticks with him until the end of the play; he kills Duncan. After killing Duncan, Macbeth becomes king and reaches the peak of his life. At this peak though, the guilt and other repercussions from killing Duncan destroy his character. Macbeth kills Macduff’s family and Banquo in hopes to cover up his sin. This is ineffective and eventually, like Henchard, Macbeth dies a pitiful death as his own antagonist.

Assigned Analysis(#2):
Michael Henchard’s manifestation of archetypal heroic behavior in The Mayor of Casterbridge is obvious, but the one tragic flaw that dictates his entire life is his pride. After Henchard’s impulsiveness leads him to sell his wife and daughter, his pride controls every decision he makes. This great pride causes Henchard to remarry Susan even though he is engaged to Lucetta, to hide the truth from Elizabeth Jane about her past, and to hate Farfrae for his success and virtue.
Henchard is a man of extremes; he is impulsive, temperamental, and prideful, but he can also easily forgive. He shifts between antagonist and protagonist, even though he is the main character. He causes himself to falter and provides, or in someway causes, every conflict encountered in the novel. No matter how large the conflict is though, Henchard bears it. Henchard even comes to the point where literally everyone dislikes him and his name is worthless, but he never relinquishes his talent of endurance. He exiles himself, and finally on his death bed, he wills that no one remember him. This is what he thinks he deserves, and ironically, it is at this point that Henchard gains his worth back. He pushes away any pity that could possibly comfort him, and he bears the full weight of his life. It is this resilience that elevates him to the level of a hero—a man whose name deserves to be remembered.

The Mayor of Casterbridge presents a theme of the consequences of character. Good character is rewarded, and bad character is punished whether it be by fate or by other people....

Find Another Essay On The Mayor of Casterbridge Analysis

Analysis of Thomas Hardy´s The Mayor of Casterbridge

1627 words - 7 pages Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), native to Dorchester, England, was a novelist and poet that spent the majority of his life as a career writer. His crowning achievement was The Mayor of Casterbridge, which he wrote in 1886; it highlighted his signature style of tragedy and indifference towards its main characters. He spent the entirety of his childhood and most of his adulthood in his private study because of recurring unknown illnesses. As a result

The Mayor of Casterbridge by T

626 words - 3 pages that only man himself can control. Ultimately, man holds the power to control his own destiny through the implementation either good or evil qualities.A Theme Analysis of The Mayor of Casterbridge Thesis: The good abd evil attributes which man possesses determine his fate.I. Good attributes A. Understanding 1.

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

635 words - 3 pages "The Mayor of Casterbridge" In The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, a person’s future lies in the hands of his or her past actions. The intelligent or ignorant decision that they make places an immediate or long-term effect on the rest of person’s life. Michael Henchard, whose interactions with the people of Casterbridge lead to his demise, is only one of the people who decide their own destiny through their actions. The

Henchard's Personality in The Mayor of Casterbridge

2487 words - 10 pages Henchard's Personality in The Mayor of Casterbridge Introduction Michael Henchard begins the novel by entering Casterbridge 'with the walk of a skilled countryman'. He starts his life at badly, as he sells his wife to a young gentle sailor called Newson. His impression changes, as he becomes a wealthy corn merchant and the Mayor of Casterbridge. 25 years later, he ends up with his life in tatters, and eventually

The Mayor of Casterbridge: Social Standards

863 words - 3 pages The Mayor of Casterbridge:  Social Standards         What kind of person auctions off their wife and baby? In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy explores the personality of a man, Michael Henchard, who hands his family off to a stranger, Richard Newsom, for a mere five guineas. Oblivious to the consequences of such an act, Michael Henchard, intoxicated, lets go of his wife, Susan, and

Analysis of Characters from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

1909 words - 8 pages Analysis of Characters from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy 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

Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy

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

The Role of Festival in The Mayor of Casterbridge

1398 words - 6 pages The Role of Festival in The Mayor of Casterbridge One of the most striking aspects of The Mayor of Casterbridge, for example, is the role of festival and the characters’ perceptions of, and reactions to, the festive. The novel opens with Henchard, his wife and baby daughter arriving at Weydon-Priors fair. It is a scene of festive holiday in which ‘the frivolous contingent of visitors’ snatch a respite from labour after the

Modernism vs. Traditionalism in The Mayor of Casterbridge

1803 words - 7 pages An Essay on Modernism vs. Traditionalism in The Mayor of Casterbridge During the first half of the 19th century English society was making the difficult transition from a pre-industrial Britain to ‘modern' Victorian times. In agriculture, most of the transition took place around 1846 with the repeal of the corn laws. This allowed foreign grain to be imported into England for the first time. Consequently, the entire structure and methods of

Pain in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" by Thomas Hardy

735 words - 3 pages Pain is a predominant theme throughout Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. Hardy describes how many of the character's experience pain through relationships and how each of them deal with their suffering. Both Michael Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane Newson experience difficulty with their relationships, which causes them to suffer from painful events in their lives. They are alike in that they both suffer from the "problem of pain" but they

Essay on Fate and Chance in The Mayor of Casterbridge

1621 words - 6 pages Fate and Chance in The Mayor of Casterbridge            Thomas Hardy's disillusionment over religion was a major theme in both his novels and his poetry. In his mind there was a conflict over whether fate or chance ruled us. He explores this dilemma in the poems "I Look Into My Glass" and "Going and Staying." Each poem takes a different stance on the matter. It is up to the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge to illuminate which position he

Similar Essays

The Mayor Of Casterbridge Essay

1977 words - 8 pages finding his family. Not telling the whole story to the people he inquired "prevented Michael Henchard from following up the investigation with the loud hue and cry such a pursuit demanded to render it effectual."Upon discovering that "persons answering somewhat to his description had emigrated a little time before", he decided to stop searching and just give up on finding them. Again, this makes it seem that Henchard doesn't actually care that much about his wife and daughter and probably doesn't regret selling them a great deal.The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) - Thomas Hardy

The Mayor Of Casterbridge And Essay

1206 words - 5 pages The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge both consist of plot twists, coincidences, and a series of minor and major climaxes. However, the time involved in the novels is very different. The Return of the Native may at first seem long because it contains many plot twists, but is it in fact very compact. The whole story takes place in only about a year. In contrast, The Mayor of Casterbridge takes place over a span of twenty years

The Mayor Of Casterbridge 2 Essay

990 words - 4 pages Literature: The Mayor of Casterbridge Can it be said that Henchard's downfall is all due to 'some great error?' Some may believe that it is a penance for selling Susan, but this would be to take Newson out of the equation, who, it must be said, is just as guilty of this act as Henchard. I believe that Henchard is totally blameless for his downfall, to use a bad pun that will become apparent later, it is in his nature. It is my belief that

An Analysis Of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor Of Casterbridge

968 words - 4 pages An Analysis of The Mayor of Casterbridge      The plot of The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy, can often be confusing and difficult to follow. The pages of this novel are filled with sex, scandal, and alcohol, but it provides for a very interesting and unique story. It all begins one day in the large Wessex village of Weydon-Priors. Michael Henchard, a young hay-trusser looking for work, enters the village with