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 age is Elizabeth Jane when she and her mother search for Michael Henchard?

2. What surprises Henchard the most about Farfrae?

3. What do the people of Casterbridge know of the mayor's past wife?

4. What does Farfrae and Susan observe about Henchard?

5. Where is the first place Michael heads to when he wakes up in the morning in the furmity tent?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Henchard is quite fond of Farfrae's work. However, Farfrae views himself quite different from Henchard. What does Farfrae think of Henchard as a person? A businessman?

3. Lucetta shows she is capable of greedy motivations. Yet, she is also victim to Henchard's forceful behaviors. When she returns from Port-Bredy married to Farfrae, Henchard hollers his disapproval and for her to get away. When she does, she enters her home through the backdoor? Knowing what the back alley represents, why does she choose at this time to use this entrance?

4. When Henchard first learns about Donald's popularity, he cannot help but be jealous. However, he sees Donald as a genuinely good man who cares for people's feelings. What internal battle does Henchard experience concerning Donald Farfrae? How does he personally feel about Farfrae? How does this affect his natural jealousy?

5. 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?

6. Henchard shows both happiness and reservations concerning Susan's return. Henchard plans to remarry and care for his family. However, in his note to Susan, he writes, "The news upsets me almost," and in their meeting he states, "But- to lead me into ... this difficulty about our living together ..." What is going through Henchard's mind as he learns of his wife's return? Does he love her or is he obliged to a duty? What causes his reservations?

7. Hardy introduces Lucetta as a mystery woman, but with some hints that she knows Henchard. He also describes her as graceful and nice to Elizabeth. However, as the novel progresses, how does Hardy foreshadow that Miss Templeman may not be the woman Elizabeth thinks she is? What clues and observations does Elizabeth make, or comments of Hardy, show that Lucetta is as contriving as the other characters in Casterbridge?

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

9. 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?

10. Earlier in the book, Jopp is tersely introduced and forgotten when his management position is taken by Farfrae. Re-introduced years later in chapter 26, he is described as coming from the back slum and his clothing a sign of need. Unjustly fired, what role do you think Jopp plays in Henchard's life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel is full of deceit, lies, and pure selfishness. In chapter 24, Elizabeth talks of shadows that Lucetta does not even know about. However, Lucetta, as well as several others in the novel, have shadows of their own. Choose a character and describe their "shadow" that follows them wherever they go. Who is the character? What is the "shadow?" What part does the person have in creating that shadow? Can the character ever rid of it or is really like that of a real shadow, so that wherever there is light, the shadow shows?

Essay Topic 2

Michael Henchard notes, "It never rains, but it pours!" Although he refers to the events in his life; how does this also represent him as a person?

Essay Topic 3

Whittle is a small character throughout the novel, but is the last person to see Henchard before he dies. Describe Whittle's will to help Henchard and what it means in the novel to have a minor character help Henchard in his loneliest time.

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