Essay on The Main Character in The Mayor of Casterbridge

716 Words 3 Pages
'The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest.'; Thomas Hardy said this upon completion of the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Henchard, the main character in his novel, becomes the example to illustrate this idea. Henchard is at one point the most powerful person in a small town called Casterbridge. He is the wealthiest person and commands the most respect, but Hardy shows some terrible characteristics of Henchard. Because of Henchard's pride and ego, he loses his fame and fortune and becomes a part of the lowest working class. There, while exhibiting some of his cruder qualities, he also shows signs of true affection to others. …show more content…
As time passes, Henchard becomes wealthier because of Farfrae's talents. Farfrae becomes the intergral part of Henchard's business. Without Farfrae, Henchard's business would collapse. Henchard knows this, but his pride gets in the way. Farfrae plans to hold a carnival on the day of a festival, but, when Henchard finds out about this, Henchard decides to imitate Farfrae by having his own which is much bigger and lavish than Farfrae's. On the day of the festival, it rains heavily. Henchard's carnival is canceled while Farfrae's remains because of an elaborate tent structure he creates. People call Henchard, 'A man must be a headstrong stunpoll'; (177). A synonym for a stunpoll is a blockhead. Henchard hears comments such as these and feels belittled. Henchard's pride can not handle such insults this causes him to fire Farfrae. This while drawn out is a prime example of how Henchard's grandeur and reputation can be tarnished by petty jealousy.
     While Henchard shows his flaws when he is rich, he shows respectability and honesty while being poor. In his lowest point where he declares bankruptcy, Henchard, not only does not hide his possesions, he shows the creditors things worth some money that the creditors do not know about such as a golden watch. These are the words of praise given by the commissioner to Henchard about his honesty:
     '' Well though the case
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