The Mayor Of Casterbridge Essay

964 Words 4 Pages
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 Henchard is a personification of nature. It is obvious that his life has completed a revolution but when you look closely, you can see that Henchard's life resembles the seasons.
     Our first image of Henchard is one of winter, his clothing is
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When he dies he is back in winter but just on the verge of spring, exactly like the start of the book.
     Just having a life resembling the seasons would not immediately lead me to think that Henchard is closely linked to nature, his very character seems natural. The best example of his naturalness is when Farfrae introduces the rowing machine. Henchard is opposed to it and wishes to stay with the tried and true, yet somewhat chaotic, seed lip. Henchard is, like nature, chaotic and unpredictable. He is able to disgrace a man while keeping his mother well stocked with firewood. Henchard's success can be attributed to his closeness to nature much more than his business acumen.
     If Henchard's nature makes him fail, then it may be asked why Farfrae succeeds. I believe that Farfrae is the antithesis of Henchard; he is very close to science, machines and the modern world. While Henchard runs his business with 'you shall ha'et'; and 'I'll do't,'; Farfrae runs his with 'letters and ledgers'; and also his rowing machine. The rowing machine is the best example in the novel of how Farfrae runs his business, it precisely places the seeds in rows, letting none go to waste. Hechard's beloved seed lip is exactly the opposite it scatters the seeds haphazardly allowing nature to take its course. It, like Henchard, is highly chaotic and
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