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. How does Susan feel about the choreographed courtship?

2. Four pennies are used to keep Susan's eyes closed. What becomes of them after Martha buries them?

3. Susan writes a letter to Michael when on her deathbed. What does she request of him concerning this letter?

4. What does Lucetta request from Henchard?

5. Where does Michael ask Susan to meet after learning she is still alive?

Short Essay Questions

1. Abel Whittle is chronically late and with many warnings, he continues to be late. Fed up, Henchard heads to Abel's house and makes him get to the granary without breeches on. Farfrae argues that the joke goes too far and Abel should get him and dress. Henchard contends that it is to teach Abel a lesson and that this is no joke. When Henchard sells Susan to Newson, it too starts off as a joke. Henchard and all present blames the rum. Compare the two situations and Henchard's character. How much of the rum is to blame for the joke getting out of hand? If Farfrae is not there to stop the punishment, does Henchard continue on with the lesson?

2. 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?

3. Although Hardy reveals that Henchard is not in love with Susan, he feels defensive when the boys around town call Susan, "The Ghost". Does he really love her and does not know it? Is he defensive to protect his own name? Is Henchard a better man that he reveals himself to be?

4. When the furmity woman is shown as the defendant, Henchard notices something familiar but the thought flees his mind as quickly as it comes in. How does the furmity woman represent the sale of his wife twenty years ago? How does Henchard's reaction to the furmity woman represent how he feels about the transaction?

5. 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?

6. When Susan is auctioned to Newson, she thinks it is binding. However, Hardy remarks that she is not the only woman to think this way. What does this say about Susan? About the times?

7. 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?

8. When Henchard visits Lucetta and asks her to marry him, she looks out the window to see Farfrae's hay wagons. What earlier scene is this reminiscent of? What is its importance in the storyline?

9. At first request, Michael is agreeable to let Elizabeth leave and gain independence. But when the time comes for her to leave, he gets angry and flustered at the idea. Why does Henchard react with such contradiction?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Henchard is different than Donald, yet Donald's life seems to follow the same pattern as Henchard. Compare and contrast their lives and how the results may or may not end the same.

Essay Topic 2

Several times throughout the novel, Hardy describes Henchard's dark eyes with a glint of red. Solomon describes Henchard's expression after his wedding as an ambiguous gaze with one moment of satisfaction, another fiery disdain. How do the colors Hardy uses relate to the description of Henchard's gaze? Why does Henchard have such a gaze as he exits the church?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,900 words
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