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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy

Quiz

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. At the opening of the novel, what is Michael Henchard’s occupation?

2. To whom does Henchard sell his wife?

3. The morning after selling his wife, what pledge does Henchard make?

4. Upon arriving in Casterbridge, where does Susan Henchard predict that she and Elizabeth-Jane will find Henchard?

5. Why does Henchard take such a strong and immediate liking to Donald Farfrae?

6. Who had Henchard arranged to hire as his business manager before meeting Farfrae?

7. How does Henchard deal with Abel Whittle’s failure to report to work on time?

8. How is the “day of public rejoicing” that Henchard arranges thwarted?

9. Why does Susan insist on keeping hidden the fact that Elizabeth-Jane does chores in exchange for a room at the inn?

10. In a letter written on her deathbed, what does Susan confess to her husband?

11. Why does Henchard agree to remarry Susan rather than pursue his affair with Lucetta?

12. Why does Henchard retract his demand that Farfrae no longer court Elizabeth-Jane?

13. What is the name of Lucetta Templeman’s estate?

14. What ulterior motive prompts Lucetta to invite Elizabeth-Jane to live with her?

15. Where did Lucetta live before moving to Casterbridge?

16. How does Lucetta react when Henchard demands that she end her affair with Farfrae in order to marry him?

17. To whom does Henchard entrust Lucetta’s letters?

18. What does Henchard persuade the town’s musicians to play at the Three Mariners Inn?

19. What is Farfrae’s initial reaction when asked to be mayor of Casterbridge?

20. What is the name of the ceremony the townspeople perform to shame Lucetta?

21. How does Lucetta react to the townspeople’s attempt to shame her?

22. What is Henchard’s official role in greeting the Royal Personage?

23. What event causes Elizabeth-Jane to sever her ties with Henchard?

24. Who cares for Henchard in his dying days?

25. To what biblical figure does Henchard compare himself in his suffering?

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Characters

by atleastimnotaprincess, March 23, 2013

All of the characters (besides the troubled Henchard) are almost completely shallow and almost petty. Isn't it odd how Frafaer had no difficulty getting back together with Elizabeth-Jane after he hurt her so terribly by going for Lucetta? And how Lucetta practically refuses to own up to her own actions by claiming it was a misfortune she fell into? Although it is almost annoying how Henchard never learns from his mistakes, he truly does seem like the only "deep" character in this book.

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Confused.

by aimalfarooq, September 02, 2013

I didn't like most of the characters, but that does not imply that I disliked the book. The book was fantastic and the story was gripping. I was initially fond of Farfrae, but then I grew to dislike him. I despised Lucetta since the first time she was described, and my hatred kept increasing as the story progressed. Elizabeth-Jane was the only character I liked; whereas, my feelings towards Michael Henchard were those of confusion. I disliked him at times. Other times, I felt pangs of sympathy towards him, and anger towards how others treate

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