The Mayor of Casterbridge Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Susan fear about meeting Michael Henchard?

2. What do Susan and Michael decide about Elizabeth?

3. What is Elizabeth's manner when she first sees Farfrae in his room?

4. Where do Susan and Elizabeth Jane go for lodgings?

5. Weydon Priors can be described as ...

Short Essay Questions

1. When Henchard writes a note to Susan, he also gives five guineas in return. What does Henchard hope to portray in this gift? How does Susan react to the money when she sees it?

2. Henchard hears from Lucetta and believes he should marry her. At this point, Susan is on her deathbed. Why does Henchard want to marry Lucetta? Is it another obligation? Does he have feelings for her?

3. At the hiring market, Farfrae and Lucetta witness a farmer who is in a dilemma. Either the farmer loses his sweetheart or fails his father. Lucetta shows concern and Farfrae offers to hire the man close in town so the farmer does not have to choose. What is the motivation behind Donald's decision? Does he really have concern for the farmer? Is it to impress Lucetta instead?

4. Elizabeth mentions "respectability" several times. Despite a plain dress and a modest upbringing, she is very conscientious of being respectable. How does this regard to respectability portray her desires? What kind of life does Elizabeth seek?

5. Before Michael discovers who Elizabeth's real father is, he wants her to legally change her name to Henchard. For whom does he want this? How does Michael regard Elizabeth's feelings in this matter? Is it for them as a relationship as purely for his selfish wants?

6. Hardy makes note that the Three Mariners sign is old. However, it is not due to the owner's lack of care as it is the lack of a painter in town. What does that imply about Casterbridge?

7. Henchard is a man of wealth and status in Casterbridge, yet he is lonely in friendship as well as marriage. As soon as he meets Farfrae, he is intrigued. Not only does he look to Farfrae as a business manager, but also as a friend. What benefits and dangers does Henchard risk in befriending Farfrae so early on with such sensitive confessions?

8. Elizabeth Jane is very observant of Farfrae and Henchard. What does she notice about their relationship? What are some expectations that come true? Why does the dismissal of Farfrae not so unexpected?

9. What is the atmosphere of the furmity tent when Michael offers his wife for sale?

10. When the new farming machinery is shown in the marketplace, Lucetta and Elizabeth look at it with inquiry. Lucetta describes it as an agricultural piano and Elizabeth states that it is something to do with corn. These statements are very different, as is there personality. Compare and contrast their response to the machine and how it reflects their personality.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Henchard's motives are self-serving throughout the novel. However, when the furmity woman tells the court of Michael's shameful actions from twenty years ago, he does not deny it. The woman is not respected and no one believes her when she says it, thus Michael easily gets away with it. However, he confesses that what she says is true. What causes Michael to act in this way? What finally brings the truth out of Michael's' lips? Is there a selfish motivation? Is Michael changing? Is he becoming an honest man?

Essay Topic 2

Henchard and Farfrae both start from close to nothing to being the mayor of Casterbridge. However, they have very different styles. Farfrae is gentle and generally reasonable. Henchard is a fiery man that evokes fear in his employers and some townsfolk. They are the symbols of respect versus fear. Compare and contrast Michael and Donald's way of heading a business. How do they treat their employees? How do the employees view their boss? What benefits are from respecting or fearing your boss? What are the hindrances?

Essay Topic 3

When Susan dies, she is buried at the Roman grounds. Hardy describes the area as full of deceptive history that still haunts. Compare Susan's life before and after her death to the Roman grounds. How is Susan's life full of deception and how does it still haunt those that are living?

(see the answer keys)

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