The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Essay

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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy wrote the novel 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' in 1886. Two of the main characters, Donald Farfrae and Michael Henchard have a contrast in luck and Hardy uses characterisation, language, historical and social background and a craft in the structure of his novel to help bring across this point. During this essay I am going to comment upon how Hardy does this and further consider the view that, Farfrae's good fortune is a result of Henchard's ill luck.

Throughout the novel there are many examples of Farfrae's good fortune resulting in Henchard's ill luck. One of the most important examples in the book is when Henchard and Farfrae both gamble on
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Both of these types of characterisation link in with Farfrae's good fortune and Henchard's ill luck.

Hardy creates Henchard not as an evil man but more of tragic hero. This is a person with a fatal flaw. Henchard's main flaw is his temper. This first adds to his ill luck right at the start of the novel when he sells Susan and his daughter in a drunken angry state. Even though this does not directly link in with Farfrae's good fortune (as he is not present in the start of the novel) it does later on in the novel when the furmity seller arrives back and tells the court of Henchard's secret. When Henchard admits to what is being said by the old women all respect is lost for him and he looses his role of town mayor. When Farfrae finally becomes mayor near the end of the novel (after the mayor after Henchard dies) his good fortune is a result of Henchard's ill luck which is the result of his fatal flaw. Hardy also uses fate against Henchard throughout the whole novel. An example of this is when Henchard and Farfrae both hold a dance for the townspeople. Farfrae has his in a barn whereas Henchard's is out in the open. When it rains on the night of the dance everyone turns out to Farfrae's even Susan and Elizabeth-Jane. This leads to Farfrae's popularity rising and Henchard's to carry on decreasing (as the dance was a hope to regain some
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