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Mayor Of Casterbridge By Hardy Essay Research

Mayor Of Casterbridge By Hardy Essay, Research Paper

Many believe that a human’s personality determines their place in life. In the

Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy explores the role of character in

determining fate. He uses a character’s personality flaws to determine their

fate. Hardy utilizes such traits as temper, naivety, control problems, and

shyness. Hardy takes his character and places them in a situation where their

personalities usually make the situation worse. Throughout the novel the

character, Lucetta, is portrayed as a spoiled child. She likes things to be the

best for herself. She comes to Casterbridge in order to finish what she and

Henchard proposed to do earlier, that is, marry one another. When she refuses to

see him, because she likes Farfrae, she is intentionally provoking him. Henchard

confronts her about this matter and he marriage to him. Lucetta refuses to marry

until Henchard threatens to black mail her. He intends to black mail her with

the love letters she wrote him earlier. She agrees to the marriage. Lucetta,

however, marries Farfrae. She does this because he is good looking, better off

than Henchard, and totally infatuated with her. This course was the best for her

at the moment. She knew of Henchard’s past, she had experienced his temper, and

was afraid he would ruin her. Lucetta also puts a great deal of emphasis on

looks. Earlier in the story, she had fallen in love with Henchard. After he left

Jersey, Lucetta wrote Henchard love letters. These letters would become her down

fall. She died of shock (or possibly miscarriage) after the skimmity ride. The

only reason the townsfolk knew about her past with Henchard were these love

letters. She had trustingly asked Henchard to deliver them back to her keeping

so that she could destroy them. If she had trusted him enough to return the

letters, why couldn’t she trust him to destroy them? Henchard’s fate was

strongly rooted in his character. He has several character flaws that

contributed to the break down of every relationship he had. At the beginning of

the novel it is his temper that starts the whole story off. At the fair in

Weydon – Priors, he becomes angry with his wife while he is drunk. Henchard

tries to sell her because he believes that it is Susan’s and the child’s fault

that he is not successful. This is evidently not the first time. He finds an

interested man who pays five pounds and five shillings for her. This of course

is the beginning of the break down of his family life and his role as a father.

Henchard is upset when he sobers up the next morning. There are other instance

where Henchard’s temper destroys his relationships. The next episode in the

story is when Farfrae’s idea for the fair works better than his own. In a fit of

jealous rage, Henchard fires his good friend. This alienates Farfrae from both

Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane. It also distances Henchard from Elizabeth-Jane and

Farfrae. His temper has now caused a fault in his business and his family.

Farfrae sets up a business in competition with him. Henchard also denies Farfrae

the right to court his daughter. This of course pushes Elizabeth-Jane farther

from her father. In Henchard’s anger and other habits there is an element of

control. That is lack of control. Henchard, it seems, likes his drink. In the

beginning of the story he asks for some liquor to be added to his furmity. Once

drunk, he losses control and becomes angry. This of course leads to the family

break up. In the morning, he swears, While he is sober for those years, he is

very prosperous. Henchard becomes a wealthy corn merchant as well as the Mayor

of Casterbridge. However, when the twenty-one years are over he starts drinking

again. Prior to this because of his temper and the such, he is a ruined man.

When he takes up drinking again it just hastens the downward spiral he is on. He

is an embarrassment to himself and all that know him. This quote is from the

visitation of the Royal Personage. Farfrae had set up a reception for the royal

guest. Henchard’s presence at the arrival of the guest was denied by the

council. So, he decided, After this incident Lucetta refused to acknowledge who

he was or that he was ever her husband’s patron. Through the lack of control and

anger, Henchard has a vague idea of what is right and wrong. He is very hard on

himself. Henchard can also be very stern with others. It is the self punishment,

however, that most affects his fate. When he sobered up after selling Susan, he

knew what he had done, was wrong. That is why he took that oath with the curse

at the end of it, . He also wanders the country side in search of the family he

has destroyed. If he had not of taken that oath, he probably would still be a

lowly hay trusser. At the end of the story, when Henchard dies, he dies under

the care of Abel Whittle. Even in death he could not escape himself, He punishes

himself after death by what he asks for in his will. In his will he asks that:

his daughter not be told of his passing; he not be buried in consecrated ground;

no one be asked to toll the bell; nobody see his dead body; there be no mourners

at his funeral; no flowers be planted at his grave; and that no one remember

him. He thought he had a lot of sins to pay for when he asked all this. Hardy

has taken common character traits and used them to determine the character’s

fate. Through the use of his characters, Hardy shows how someone can determine

their own fate. Even though in most cases they don’t know it.