Henchard's Personality in The Mayor of Casterbridge Essay

1653 Words 7 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 dying alone.

In this coursework, I will be discussing Henchard's personality, and the reasons for his success and his deterioration in life. Also, I will describe the society which the people live in, emphasising the main reason why the society of 'Weydon-Priors and 'Casterbridge'
…show more content…
More crucial, Henchard's actions result in the loss of his name and his reputation as a worthy and honourable citizen. Once he has lost these essentials, he follows the course to a short, pitiful life, resulting in death alone.

The links between chapter 1 and 44 are very similar. They associate with each other very well, sharing the same emotions and assets. We see in the first chapter, Henchard and his family enter Weydon-Priors, via the country side. Henchard comes looking for work, where he stops at a furmity tent, where working class people trade goods and belongings. At this point, Henchard is an alcoholic, ashe continues to drink; he bemoans his lot as a married man. If only he were "a free man," he tells the group gathered in the furmity tent, he would "be worth a thousand pound." When the sound of an auctioneer selling horses interrupts Henchard's musings, he jokes that he would be willing to sell his wife if someone wanted to buy her. Susan begs him to stop his teasing, declaring that "this is getting serious. O!-too serious!" Henchard persists nevertheless.

This leads him to sell his wife and his daughter to a sailor. Henchard becomes very bitter, and psychologically damaged, he vows never to drink again for 21 years.

Whereas in chapter 44; Henchard makes his way through the countryside and eventually
Open Document