The Mayor of Casterbridge
Michael Henchard, a drunken and unemployed hay-trusser who sells his wife and daughter at a fair, is a tragic figure, bankrupt, emotionally broken, and an outcast from society in this 1886 novel, which may be Hardy’s most intense and gripping narrative.
How does Henchard know that Elizabeth-Jane is not his daughter?
Henchard decides to tell Elizabeth-Jane the truth about his relationship with her mother one night, about three weeks after Susan’s death; despite the request to keep the letter unread until Elizabeth-Jane’s wedding day, Henchard opens it and discovers that Elizabeth-Jane is not, in fact, his daughter.
Why did lucetta leave Henchard?
Lucetta admits that she made her promise to Henchard under duress, and she reveals her marriage to Donald. Despite the fact that Elizabeth-Jane has already decided to leave the house because of her feelings for Donald, she tells Lucetta that she will make her decision later.
What does Henchard buy for Elizabeth?
Henchard makes a pit stop in Shottsford to get some new clothes and a gift for Elizabeth-Jane: a goldfinch in a cage.
Why does Susan come back in search of Henchard?
Susan lives as Newson’s wife for 18 years, believing the auction to be legally binding, and when Newson is lost at sea, Susan, without any means of support, decides to seek out Henchard again, taking her daughter with her.
What did Henchard get Elizabeth-Jane for her wedding?
Henchard pays Elizabeth-Jane a visit on her wedding day, carrying the gift of a caged goldfinch, which he leaves in a corner while he speaks to his stepdaughter and promptly forgets when she dismisses him.
Why does Henchard cool towards his daughter?
3. When Henchard discovers that his daughter is actually Newson’s child and that his Elizabeth-Jane died a long time ago, he “cools” towards her.
Why does Lucetta marry Farfrae?
Lucetta marries Farfrae without anyone’s knowledge in order to protect herself from Henchard and his ability to reveal their secret history. Henchard threatens to reveal their secret, but Lucetta meets him at the Ring and begs for his mercy.
What is Michael Henchard’s relationship with Elizabeth-Jane?
Susan and Michael Henchard had a daughter, also named Elizabeth-Jane, who died not long after she and her mother were sold to Newson. Elizabeth-Jane is the biological daughter of Susan Henchard and Richard Newson.
Who comes to Henchard?
Henchard returns home after learning of Lucetta’s death and is soon visited by Elizabeth-Jane.
Who purchased Henchard wife?
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy begins with a famous scene in which a poor hay trusser, Michael Henchard, sells his wife, Susan, by putting her up for auction in a public market on the spur of the moment, and Susan is purchased by a sailor, with whom she departs, and they live together as husband and wife.
Why did Henchard sell his wife and daughter and to whom?
When Michael Henchard and his wife, Susan, stop for a meal, Henchard becomes inebriated, and in an auction that begins as a joke but quickly turns serious, he sells his wife and their baby daughter, -Elizabeth-Jane, to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.
What happens to Henchard at the end of the novel?
Henchard goes away and works as a farm laborer until he hears that Elizabeth-Jane is marrying Donald Farfrae, and he decides that Elizabeth-Jane will surely forgive him now, so he travels to Casterbridge with a caged goldfinch as a wedding present.
Why did Donald agree to go with Henchard?
Henchard refuses to tell Elizabeth-Jane that she is his daughter because she is in financial distress. Donald agrees to write a kindly letter to the young lady because Henchard would probably do a bad job; however, Donald believes that Henchard should tell Elizabeth-Jane that she is his daughter, which Henchard cannot agree to.
What pledge does Henchard make the morning after selling his wife?
“I, Michael Henchard, do take an oath before God here in this solemn place on this morning of September sixteenth, that I will avoid all strong liquors for the next twenty-one years, a year for every year that I have lived,” he swears.
How much time has passed since the auction when Susan and Elizabeth-Jane return to Weydon priors?
Given that Henchard’s family has been sold at the Weydon-Priors fair for eighteen years, the purpose of these chapters is largely expository, and they serve primarily to provide necessary information rather than dramatic development.