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 event occurs in Port-Bredy?

2. Although now the town beauty, what does Elizabeth feel she still lacks?

3. What does Elizabeth notice about the backdoor of Miss Templeman's home?

4. What is the relationship like between Susan and Michael?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Solomon Longways view the mayor?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. Henchard becomes distraught and angry at the idea that Elizabeth is not his daughter. Out of pride, he does not tell her after the big deal he makes for her to change her name. How does Henchard express his feelings if not in telling her the truth?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Hardy refers to "man as the blot on an otherwise kindly universe," but continues to note that there are times men are peaceful while the beasts in animals come out. According to Hardy, what is the nature of man? How does Michael Henchard represent man?

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?

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