Everything you need to understand or teach The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.
As the novel opens, Michael Henchard and his wife, Susan, are walking toward a village in Wessex in southwestern England. Susan is carrying their infant daughter, Elizabeth Jane. It is a late summer afternoon in the mid 1800s. Michael, a skilled farm laborer, is looking for work. Hardy describes the man and woman as being distant from each other and in low spirits. Hardy makes clear that Susan is naïve and malleable.
They enter a shop that sells furmity, a grain-based dish, and order their dinner. Michael quickly discerns that the proprietor, whom Hardy calls "the furmity woman," will spike his furmity with rum for an added payment. He gets drunk and tells those around him that he has ruined his chances for success by marrying too young and would sell his wife if he could. Michael refuses to drop this idea, and finally a sailor offers to meet... View more of the The Mayor of Casterbridge Summary
The Mayor of Casterbridge Lesson Plans contain 176 pages of teaching material, including: