The Mayor of Casterbridge Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Study Guide

Original title:
The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy is a social novel that shows the life and death of the aforementioned Mayor who managed to turn from a drunkard to a decent man, but still had to constantly face the consequences of his past deeds. At the beginning of the novel we see him as the poor and embittered man, who gets so drunk that he puts his wife and baby daughter to the auction. This disgusting act repels his wife so much that she is ready to go away with anyone who “buys” her just to stay away from the man who offended her so much.

When the man wakes up next morning, his actions disgusts him so much that he promises himself to remain abstinent for years. He desperately tries to find his former family but fails. The years pass and from the miserable drunkard he becomes a respected man and is elected the Mayor of the nearby town of Casterbridge. He has almost forgotten his past, but suddenly he is reminded in in a most sudden and unexpected way.

The family issues and the attempts to reconcile with the past tangle with the stories of the next generation - especially his daughter, who was once sold and returned as a beautiful young woman. She knows nothing about her real father and the fact that he once abandoned her - and the Mayor doesn’t find the strength to tell her and leave the girl, his own flesh and blood, completely disillusioned in him. Keeping the biography of the Mayor secret from them results in major misunderstanding, drama and unfair accusations. Moreover, it seems that his former wife, who lived so many years away from him, now has some dark secrets of her own. We don’t know if the Mayor have chosen the optimal solution, but what we know is that he did everything to change. The Mayor of the Casterbridge is the tragedy of a man trying to undo what he has once done and just live what is left of his life.

New Essays

”The Mayor of Casterbridge” by Thomas Hardy Essay Sample

The Mayor of Casterbridge. written by Thomas Hardy. is a chef-d'oeuvre with the immortal Michael Henchard as the lead character. who is arguably the greatest creative activity of Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge is a human calamity which gives a deep moral message sing the evil effects of...

The Mayor of Casterbridge Quotes with Page Number

“Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.” — Page 184 — “Some folks want their luck buttered.” — — “I won't be a slave to the past. I'll love where I choose.” — — “She had learned the lesson of renunciation and was as familiar with the wreck of each day's wishes as with...

Mayor of Casterbridge - Character Is Fate

Fate is the predetermination of events beyond a person’s control. The quote, “A man’s character is his fate” (Olney 118), proposed by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, supports the idea that a determined end is the outcome of one’s character. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Thomas Hardy’s The...

Mayor of Casterbridge

Mayor of Casterbridge The greatest flaw in human beings is that we attempt to rationalize what is good and what bad. We have spent thousands of years manipulating, lying, abusing, and exerting propaganda in order to comprehend morality and rules. While it is human to possess a tragic flaw, when...

See all essays